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No relief for hospitals in Brewer’s budget (access required)

With an uptick in state revenues, Gov. Jan Brewer is proposing to alleviate some of the pain the state’s Medicaid providers have been experiencing.

The governor wants to give a 3 percent rate increase to state health care providers, including physicians, behavioral health professionals and nursing facilities.

But one group that is among the worst hit by years of incessant budget cutting would be left out — hospitals.

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Appeals court upholds state Medicaid cuts (access required)

The Arizona Court of Appeals upheld massive cuts to the state’s Medicaid program, keeping Arizona’s precariously balanced budget intact and dealing a severe blow to advocates who said the partial enrollment freeze violated voter mandates.

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Federal money for health exchange puts Brewer in bind (access required)

The $30 million that Arizona received this week from the Obama administration will help the state develop and design a health insurance exchange website that can seamlessly interact with Medicaid.

But the pot of money, particularly given its size, potentially poses legal and political complications for Gov. Jan Brewer, who is against the federal health care overhaul and led Arizona in suing over its constitutionality.

Some view Brewer’s decision to seek the grant as tantamount to surrendering Arizona’s case.

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Arizona gets $30M from feds for state-based exchange

Arizona today received $30 million in grant money from the Obama administration to help the state establish a health insurance exchange.

This is on top of the $1 million in planning grant the state earlier got.

The exchange, which is aimed at making it easier for individuals and small businesses to purchase health insurance, is a key component of the federal health care overhaul.

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