Activists fight Ariz. Medicaid cuts

April 26, 2011 at 10:44 PM

PHOENIX, April 26 (UPI) -- Arizona public interest groups say Gov. Jan Brewer's proposed Medicaid cuts may be unconstitutional and are bound to hurt the neediest.

At a public hearing Monday in Phoenix, representatives from the Arizona Health Cost Containment System heard testimony on the cuts, The Arizona Republic reported. Under the governor's plan, co-pays and fees would increase, hospital stays would be capped and an enrollment freeze imposed.

Tami Johnson of the William E. Morris Center for Justice said the homeless are most likely to be denied coverage.

"We're worried that this is going to result in the neediest populations being discontinued from having health insurance," Johnson said.

The governor said the cuts are necessary to keep the program going and eliminate a budget deficit.

Arizona advocates have asked the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare to turn down Brewer's proposed cuts, which require the federal agency's approval before they can take effect, the newspaper said.

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