Arizona Medicaid Expansion Fee in the Hands of State Supreme Court

Oct 27, 2017

The fate of a hospital assessment that helps pay for a Medicaid expansion plan that now covers 400,000 additional Arizona residents is now in the hands of the Arizona Supreme Court.

The Arizona Supreme Court building
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The high court heard the challenge brought by Republican lawmakers on Thursday. They argued that the hospital fee is actually a tax that required a 2/3 vote under a voter-approved 1992 Constitutional amendment.

Former Gov. Jan Brewer pushed Medicaid expansion through the Legislature in 2013 but only got a majority of lawmakers to vote for it.

The state's Medicaid agency argued that an exemption for fees set by state agencies means the hospital assessment is legal. Lower courts agreed with that argument.

The justices did not indicate when they would issue a ruling.