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Brewer drops AHCCCS bombshell in state of the state (access required)

Brewer drops AHCCCS bombshell in state of the state <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

In a surprising announcement that may mark the beginning of her fiercest battle with the Legislature in years, Gov. Jan Brewer opened the 2013 legislative with a bang when she announced she will seek a full expansion of Arizona’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act.

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Fiscal crisis past, Legislature still to be frugal in 2013

With a fiscal crisis that forced billions of dollars in state government cuts mainly over, the Arizona Legislature enters its 2013 session Monday with a budget surplus but little appetite among majority Republicans to loosen the purse strings. The state has socked away about $450 million in a rainy day fund and has more than $1 billion in total surplus going into the budget year that begins July 1.

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Feds nix hope for additional AHCCCS funding (access required)

Feds nix hope for additional AHCCCS funding <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services dashed Arizona’s hopes that it may be eligible for increased Medicaid funding even if it doesn’t fully expand coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Monday informed states they will not get enhanced funding for partial Medicaid expansion. States that expand coverage to include people earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty limit – which totals about $14,856 for an individual – will get a substantial increase in federal matching funds.

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