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Playing semantics with transplant funding

Although her office has consistently characterized the transplants no longer provided by AHCCCCS as "optional," in a recent letter to the incoming speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Brewer said the state has been forced to stop providing "potentially life-saving procedures" because of the federal health care mandate.

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Gov. Brewer says Ariz. wants Medicaid waiver

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Thursday she'll ask for a waiver under the federal health care overhaul so Arizona can reduce its Medicaid rolls to lower costs that Brewer and fellow Republicans say the cash-short state can't afford. If approved, the change could mean the loss of government-funded health care for hundreds of thousands of people.

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Republicans stand by transplant funding cuts (access required)

Like many states grappling with record-breaking budget deficits, Arizona has had to cut back on its health care and social services. What makes Arizona unique is the extent it has gone to save money — by restricting coverage of certain transplant procedures, arguing that they are optional or palliative. Yet the cuts are putting vulnerable Arizonans at risk of dying without the money to pay for procedures that may save their lives.

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