The Arizona House early Thursday passed an $8.8 billion state budget that includes a proposal to pursue the health law's Medicaid expansion. News outlets also report on related action in Ohio and Michigan.
Arizona Republic: House Approves Medicaid Expansion, $8.8 Billion Budget
Five months after Gov. Jan Brewer vowed to expand Medicaid, a bipartisan Arizona House coalition voted early today to approve her high-stakes proposal, along with a budget that gives significant new funding to education and child welfare. The mostly 33-27 votes followed nine hours of debate and vitriolic speeches by conservative Republicans, who lashed out at fellow GOP members and Brewer for teaming with Democrats to steamroll them to approve a key piece of the federal health-care overhaul and the governor's top legislative priority (Reinhart, Sanchez, Rau, Pitzl, 6/13).
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Ariz. House Passes Budget And Medicaid Expansion In Victory For Gov. Brewer; Senate Votes Next
The Arizona House passed an $8.8 billion state budget that includes Medicaid expansion early Thursday and puts Gov. Jan Brewer one Senate vote away from a huge political victory as she embraces a signature part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law. A newly formed coalition of Democrats and GOP moderates forced the budget and Medicaid expansion proposal to move in the Arizona Senate and House during a day filled with debate. The Senate took a break after giving its initial approval Wednesday afternoon, while the House toiled into the night as conservative Republicans railed against the Medicaid proposal and accused members of their party who supported Brewer of being turncoats before taking a final vote that ended after 1:30 a.m. PDT (6/13).
NPR: In Arizona, An Unlikely Ally For Medicaid Expansion
The Arizona Legislature is debating whether to extend Medicaid to about 300,000 people in the state. The expansion is a requirement to get federal funding under the Affordable Care Act. The big surprise is who has been leading the charge: Republican Gov. Jan Brewer. She's one of President Obama's staunchest critics and has confounded conservatives in her own party by supporting the expansion (Robbins, 6/12).
The Associated Press: Ohio Senate Chief: Medicaid Reform Not Part Of Budget
Changes to the Medicaid health program won't be included in Ohio's budget negotiations, though a separate proposal aimed at curbing the program's costs is expected to be introduced in the Legislature as soon as Thursday, the state Senate's leader said. Senate President Keith Faber, a Celina Republican, offered few details to reporters on Wednesday, though he said the Medicaid reform bill was bipartisan and has been worked on jointly by both chambers (Sanner, 6/12).
The Associated Press: Michigan House Panel Approves Medicaid Expansion
Hundreds of thousands of more low-income adults in Michigan would become eligible for government-funded health insurance under legislation backed Wednesday by a divided House committee. #The 9-5 vote, which came after months of talks in the Republican-controlled Legislature over expanding Medicaid eligibility, set the stage for a possible vote Thursday in the House. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is pushing hard for Medicaid expansion before legislators break for the summer at the end of next week (6/12).