State Capitol News
2:51 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Lawmaker Putting Up a Fight to the State’s Medicaid Expansion

A state lawmaker is proposing legislation he concedes has no chance of approval, but he believes is necessary to keep up the fight. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer explains.

Credit The Telegraph

Rep. Adam Kwasman voted last year against expanding the state’s Medicaid program. But, Gov. Jan Brewer cobbled together a coalition of Democrats and a few Republicans to get it approved. Now, Kwasman has legislation to both repeal the expansion and kill what amounts to a tax on hospitals to finance it. However, he’s trying to convince the exact same people who voted for it last year. And, even if Kwasman could change some minds, he’d still have to face the fact that Brewer is not about to undo the plan she spent political capital getting approved. But, Kwasman said debating the issue is not a waste of time, any more than the four dozen votes by the Republican controlled U.S. House to repeal Obamacare — votes that are largely symbolic while Barack Obama is in the White House.

“I don’t think there’s anybody who thinks that he would sign of his own healthcare legislation. I just think that we need to have fighters up there. And this just keeps the pressure on so that maybe in a future legislature with a future governor we could have that repeal,” Kwasman said.

Kwasman said his push for repeal has nothing to do with his congressional bid, saying it is consistent with how he has voted since he was first elected in 2012. But, he also compared his action to congressional conservatives who have pushed the Tea Party agenda in Washington like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.