Brewer Asks Arizona Supreme Court to Overturn Medicaid Ruling

May 14, 2014

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has asked the state Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that revived a lawsuit challenging the expansion of Arizona’s Medicaid program.

Wednesday’s filing argues the state Court of Appeals ruling would open the door for lawmakers on the losing side of legislative fights over assessments or fees to rush to the courthouse. The governor’s attorney also says if the courts block her plan, thousands of Arizonans would lose access to health care, hospitals would be financially damaged and the state budget would be negatively affected.

The appeals court's ruling last month overturned a lower court ruling — and said lawmakers have the right to sue over a hospital assessment that funds the expansion. Republicans in the state House and Senate filed suit last year, arguing that assessment is essentially a tax that required a two-thirds majority vote to pass. Only a simple majority approved the expansion.

In a statement, the governor says allowing the appeals court ruling to stand would result in the courts “acting as referees in the legislative process.”