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AHCCCS: Health care bill to cost AZ more than $1B per year

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.


  1. Actually, AHCCCS said the original Senate bill would cost over $1 billion a year. However, that is not the final bill. HR4872, the reconciliation bill the President is about to sign, reduces that total by $4 billion over 10 years, according to AHCCCS. Additionally, almost the entire cost that AHCCCS identifies is the cost of maintaining the Proposition 204 population, and it is not entirely clear that the legislature had the right to overturn the voters on this anyway. So the costs that are mandated upon the state, by and large, were not mandated by Congress through health reform, by but the voters of Arizona through Proposition 204.

  2. Will AHCCCS cover medical marijuana prescriptions if the initiative passes?

  3. AHCCCS pays thousands of dollars to cover my oxycontin and oxycodone. Marijuana should be covered. It is cheaper, non-addictive, and less damaging to my internal organs especially when consumed. People like me should have a choice to get off hard-core pain medication.

  4. It makes me angry when I hear complaining about what they say it will cost AHCCCS one billion dollars, I don’t see it so far. I called to arrange transportation to the doctor whom I will have to pay the doctor $125 to the doctor and $75 to the government. If I was not on food stamps it would have cost me $150. I have no delusions that my insurance will pay for my medicinal marijuana. To go back to what I was saying I called to arrange my transportation to see the doctor that I was required to see. I was not allowed to use my own PCP for this paper shuffling, no such luck. And to add insult to injury they will not even pay for the transportation even though I was going to see a doctor which is clearly under the rules. I am just lucky I can use the bus to get there.

    What people don’t seem to care is all the billions of dollars that go into what it costs so people can press two or whatever number they press to hear it in Spanish. Or how much it costs to make sure that forms are both in English and Spanish. Although I have noticed on some occasion I am hard pressed to find brochures or signs in a government office that are in English as well as Spanish. I was at Osco to fill a prescription. I noticed there was a brochure on a table about about a health issue. They had the brochures in Spanish but there was not one that was in English. And what if you are from a minority group, I do not consider Hispanics a minority since everything is considered for Spanish speakers but I have yet to see anything for people who have immigrated from another country and in my belief probably in a legal manner. What is done for the French immigrant? what is done for the Greek immigrant? What is done for the Russian. And to add irony to the entire story what is done for the Caucasian immigrant. There are immigrants who are from Caucasus it is not another word for white people. In fact I was shopping in Mediterranean grocery store. I had the pleasure of meeting a Caucasian man who happened to come from the Caucasus region and was very proud of it. We as Americans seem to think it is okay to spend billions of dollars to make sure everything is bilingual. Try to get a ob in this city and you have to be bilingual. There is not a single thing in this country that is not effected by the rights of Hispanic people and nobody seems to care about anything or anyone else. It will cost our country not just one billion but billions and billions of dollars. People like me who don’t speak Spanish have problems finding a job. It is no longer a fact that Hispanic people only take the jobs Americans don’t want. All you have to do is watch the TV show Dirty Jobs and you will see what kind of jobs Americans are willing to do. These jobs make picking crops look like a wonderful holiday in comparison. There are many more homeless Americans then there are homeless Hispanics. Their children that are illegal go to our schools. Because they are illegal they are not covered by the the United States Government. So the classes are overflowing without the benefit of payment. They eat at the government expense. Because of overcrowding our children no longer get the education they used to get. I know this makes me sound like a monster to. But when illegal immigrants come to our country bringing in their children. And there are consequences. The consequences are not paid by the parents but by the children. Because they came into the country at such an early age they speak English and as far as everyone knows is a picture perfect American child. That is until they try to get a social security card. In order to get their social security card they h ave to go back to Mexico or whatever their country of origin was. Often they are caught when trying to return to the United States which is all they know. They have to wait five years before they can attempt to enter the USA legally. These are the consequences paid by the children. The adults don’t worry, they just steal some American’s identity. The number is around 80% of the amount of illegal immigrants who steal the identity of American citizens. In many occasions it is the identity of a child or someone who has died. What is one billion dollars in comparison to Americans who are just trying to live who suffer from chronic pain that find they cannot continue because their is not enough pain relief for pain that never goes away. Pain that is with you 24/7 and only continues to grow with intensity every single day. Is it any wonder that people find they can no longer stand living that can of life and find death a much better way to end their suffering. I know because I have been suicidal at times. I have come to grips with it but I thank Goddess there is a possibility I will see some relief. Like the hair colour advert I think I am worth it. It took me five minutes just to stand up from my couch the pain was so intense. But I cannot get a lift to see the doctor because it deals with medicinal marijuana. When did Americans become second class citizens.

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