Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer became a conservative hero when she was able to get her state to pass one of the harshest immigration laws in the nation. On Monday she gave her State of the State address and spoke in-depth about the Medicaid expansion.
“By agreeing to expand our Medicaid program just slightly beyond what Arizona voters have twice mandated, we will: Protect rural and safety-net hospitals from being pushed to the brink by their growing costs in caring for the uninsured; Take advantage of the enormous economic benefits – inject 2 Billion dollars into our economy – save and create thousands of jobs; and, Provide health care to hundreds of thousands of low-income Arizonans. Saying ‘no’ to this plan would not save these federal dollars from being spent or direct them to deficit reduction. No, Arizona’s tax dollars would simply be passed to another state – generating jobs and providing health care for citizens in California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico or any other expansion state… With this move, we will secure a federal revenue stream to cover the costs of the uninsured who already show up in our doctor’s offices and emergency rooms… Weigh the evidence and do the math. With the realities facing us, taking advantage of this federal assistance is the strategic way to reduce Medicaid pressure on the State budget. We can prevent health care expenses from eroding core services such as education and public safety, and improve Arizona’s ability to compete in the years ahead. I’m committed to doing this, and I want you on my side. Let’s work together in an atmosphere of respect and do what is BEST for Arizona.”
North Carolina’s expansion would be more dramatic than in Arizona, which means it will cover more people, and, instead of bringing in $2 billion we stand to gain more like $15 billion in federal funds. If Medicaid expansion makes sense in Arizona, it makes even more sense in North Carolina.