Increasing Medicaid expansion to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) provides the unique opportunity for Gov. Jan Brewer and the Republican led Legislature to take positive steps in improving Arizona’s economy. This can be done while at the same time taking the moral high ground by reinstating the voter approved Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) benefits for childless adults.

The benefit that our Arizona economy receives from this expansion is very important for our recovery. By investing $1 billion in expanding Medicaid, the return on investment for Arizona is $8 billion. Uncompensated medical and hospital care creates a hidden tax on everyone else through an increase to their insurance premiums. It should be noted that there are uninsured adults that have untreated mental illnesses. This is a tragic situation which, as history shows, potentially may result in a public safety catastrophe. Arizona legislators have the opportunity to lead as conservatives by containing costs, cutting the hidden tax that is placed on insurance premiums to cover the uninsured and making an investment that brings $8 billion into Arizona’s economy.

Bob Klassen

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