Opponents Stall AZ Governor's Plan for Medicaid Expansion

The state can't afford the plan it already has


Three months after she stunned political observers and made her case for expanding Medicaid coverage in Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer is no closer to reaching agreement with Republican legislative leaders on the issue, which has driven a wedge through GOP ranks and is delaying work on the state budget.

By most accounts at the Capitol, Brewer has just enough votes in the House and Senate to get expansion approved.

Even some lawmakers who oppose the plan predict it eventually will pass, owing in large part to the power of the governor's veto pen and her reputation for tenacity, as well as pressure from top-flight lobbyists and heart-tugging health-care crisis stories.

But several issues are holding up negotiations and threaten to drag out the political and ideological battle over Medicaid for weeks if not months.