The landmark health care bill passed by Congress is expected to cost Arizona more than $1 billion a year, according to a study by the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as the health care bill is known, would add about 223,000 patients to AHCCCS at a cost of about $13 billion through 2020, the study said. The costs are due to federally mandated expansion of Medicaid, part of which must be paid by the state.
In a press statement, Gov. Jan Brewer said Arizona cannot afford the federal mandates in the health care bill and urged the state’s congressional delegation to provide additional federal funds to help the state offset the costs of expanding AHCCCS and KidsCare, its arm of the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
“Having the courage to live within our means as a state is critically important to our children and our families. Their safety and their education are just two important aspects of their lives that are deeply affected by the challenging budget decisions we have made,” Brewer wrote.
Brewer recently signed a fiscal 2011 budget that cut $400 million in state spending by cutting 310,000 people from AHCCCS and eliminating KidsCare. Both changes, however, are prohibited by the federal health care law.