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Former OSPB chief to head up AHCCCS

Gov. Jan Brewer replaced one of the last major agency heads left over from the Napolitano era, naming former OSPB chief Thomas Betlach as director of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. Betlach had served as deputy director of the agency since 2002. He replaces Anthony Rodgers, who was appointed to the position in 2003 by then-Gov. Janet Napolitano.

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Poll on H1N1 suggests that public health officials battling perception problem

A recent poll suggesting that many Arizonans don't plan to get vaccinated against the H1N1 flu strain reflects a misconception that could leave many people at risk, a state health official said Oct. 30. "Most people don't understand that the virus is very dangerous," said Dr. Karen Lewis, medical director of the Arizona Department of Health Services Immunization Program.

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Poll shows high approval rating for Sheriff Joe (access required)

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio received a high approval rating in the most recent Cronkite/Eight poll. Sixty-one percent of Maricopa County voters said they approve or strongly approve of his job performance. Thirty-four percent disapprove or strongly disapprove. It’s one of those ...

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DES would drop to ’04 funding levels if faced with 15% cut (access required)

A 15 percent cut at the Department of Economic Security would take a heavy toll on the vulnerable populations Gov. Jan Brewer has spoken so often of protecting. According to a report by the Department of Economic Security, a 15 percent reduction in the agency's budget would drop it down to 2004 funding levels.

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Health Dept. outlines cuts to non-mandated services (access required)

With much of its budget locked in by federal and state mandates, the Arizona Department of Health Services would have to reduce crisis services and cut back on treatment for the mentally ill, substance abusers and sexually violent offenders in the state hospital if it had to chop 15 percent from its budget.

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AHCCCS reports it might have to eliminate KidsCare (access required)

Lawmakers this year eliminated a health care program for middle-class parents, but now the state-run health insurance program for children is on the chopping block. The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System has reported it would have to eliminate the KidsCare program if it is required to trim 15 percent of its budget in the 2010 fiscal year.

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After two judges backed out, Daughton got abortion case (access required)

Critics of an injunction to stop a series of abortion restrictions from taking effect are questioning how and why the case was assigned to three Maricopa County Superior Court judges. The first two judges removed themselves from hearing the case – one was vacationing out of the country and the other gave no reason. The third judge, who came out of retirement to take the case, issued an injunction on Sept. 29 that put the laws on hold.

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