Goldwater Institute Files Suit Against Medicaid Expansion

September 12, 2013

Arizona’s Medicaid expansion plan officially went into effect Thursday, but a lawsuit filed this morning hopes to block it. A day after expansion opponents failed to turn in enough signatures to put the law on hold until next November’s election, the Goldwater Institute filed a lawsuit, arguing the plan is unconstitutional. The suit was filed on behalf of GOP state lawmakers and three private citizens. It claims the assessment hospitals will pay to help fund the expansion is a tax, which means it needed a two-thirds majority to pass. The bill won a simple majority.

The suit also argues it is unconstitutional for the state’s Medicaid program to “establish, administer and collect” the hospital assessment, since those powers are reserved for the legislature.

Gov. Jan Brewer had made Medicaid expansion one of her top priorities this year. It took a coalition of Democrats and a handful of Republicans to approve it. A spokesman for the governor said she is confident she will prevail in court.

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