SB1070? What SB1070?

24 Jul 2013 01:58 pm
Posted by: Donna

I’d heard that Governor Brewer had sent a “Dear Fellow Republican” email around a couple weeks ago but I hadn’t followed what an uproar it was creating amongst the activist base of the AZ GOP until today. Here’s Brewer’s letter from July 12th, which purports to deliniate her many conservative accomplishments as Governor and reassure her Fellow Republicans that the Medicaid expansion is not really part of the Kenyan Usurper’s Communist Takeover (good luck with that), while pleading with the activists not to ruin everything in 2014 because they’re mad about Obummercare:

Dear Fellow Republican,

When I assumed the Office of Governor in early 2009, the State of Arizona faced the largest budget deficit per capita in the entire country. We were saddled with a nearly $3 billion dollar deficit left behind by our former Democrat Governor as she fled Arizona to make a further mockery out of our nation’s border security. As I said at the time, it felt like I had arrived after a great big party was over, all the guests were gone, and someone handed me the bill and told me to clean up the mess!

With the help of the our Republican-majority legislature, we cleaned up the state’s fiscal house and put money away in our state’s Rainy Day Fund. Recently, the Legislature passed a budget that is balanced in Fiscal Year 2014 and keeps the state’s $450 million Rainy Day Fund intact. Our General Fund spending ($8.8 billion) increased marginally–just 3.4% compared to Fiscal Year 2013–making it one of the most conservative budgets in the entire country. Indeed, in addition to the Rainy Day Fund, we have a carry forward balance of $697 million! Through our hard work, we also have ensured that our state budget will be structurally balanced by Fiscal Year 2016 with a $100 million surplus.

I also kept my word and made sure that the temporary one-cent tax, which was supported by 64% of the Arizona electorate in 2010 as Proposition 100, stayed TEMPORARY. Keeping my word, I opposed Proposition 204 (last year’s attempt to PERMANENTLY extend the tax) and ensured that Prop 100 expired at the end of last May. Additionally, we passed effective election reforms to prevent fraud and have stood strong on the need to secure our border and enforce our nation’s immigration laws.

When it comes to conservative leadership and fiscal responsibility, Arizona proudly remains a model for the rest of the country.

I remind you of these things because, while I know that some of you do not support my efforts to restore Arizona’s Medicaid program, it’s important to remember that I am governing all of this state with Republican principles.

The bottom line for me as your Governor is this: Arizona voters have TWICE approved making childless adults who earn less than 100% of the federal poverty level eligible for the state’s Medicaid program, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).

When I took office in 2009, these program costs were soaring and eating away at our state’s General Fund obligations. Hospitals across the Arizona were facing bankruptcy because when citizens without insurance get sick, they still show up in our emergency rooms where hospitals are required to care for them.

The question I had to resolve was how to cover these populations, as required by voter mandated state laws, for the least amount of state money.

Under federal law, if Arizona expands our coverage by an additional 63,000 Arizonans (moving our eligibility level from 100% of the federal poverty level to 133%), the feds will pick up 100% of the costs for the first three years of the program.

So over three years, rather than spend $1.3 billion of state funds to cover Arizona’s obligation–which would have covered fewer Arizonans–I decided to accept federal funds to protect our precious state resources. I also insisted that if the federal commitment changes, Arizona’s financial obligation will change as well. If federal reimbursement rates drop below 80% of the entire program costs, Arizona’s new law will AUTOMATICALLY TERMINATE. Just as we did in 2009, when the state was broke, we reduced AHCCCS enrollment. We are prepared to do that again if the federal government does not keep its word.

Let me be very clear: if we had not found a way to restore coverage to those citizens required under state law, we almost certainly would have been challenged in court and been forced to restore this Arizona voter approved coverage. Such a ruling by the courts would immediately drain Arizona’s Rainy Day Fund and burden the General Fund for many, many years to come.

Arizona’s Medicaid program is the most successful program in the country. Arizona’s per patient obligation is half that of other states that do not use our cost containment model (which was created by Republicans over 30 years ago). Arizona’s Medicaid program is NOT Obamacare. It is, in fact, a large part of the solution as the most efficient, cost-effective Medicaid system in the country.

I have asked our Congressional delegation to ensure that other states adopt our cost-effective model of service as a way of bringing our burdening national debt under control (a copy of this letter can be seen at http://restoringarizona.com/about-the-issue/additional-documents).

In closing, I appreciate those of you who have supported me as I made this tough policy decision. And I respect those who disagree. But I cannot emphasize enough that kicking 63,000 Arizona citizens currently enrolled in AHCCCS off of health care–including those in the middle of cancer treatment–would have been disastrous for Republican’s chances at the polls in 2014.

As surveys have shown time and again, the citizens of Arizona overwhelmingly support my Medicaid restoration effort. I reminded many a Republican who disagreed with me over Prop 100’s temporary one cent tax in 2010 that we won two-thirds majorities in both houses of the Legislature just months later. It is my hope that our Party can reclaim those majorities in the fall of 2014. To continue efforts to potentially hurt and intimidate those who stood with me only puts Republican’s chances for electoral success next year back into harm’s way.

This may mean little to those in “strong” Republican districts, but with every statewide office currently in Republican hands, Democrats are looking for ways to tip the scales on a statewide level to increase Democrat turnout.

Ronald Reagan often used the quote, “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor.” As fellow Republicans, we agree even more than 80% of the time. We are allies.

It is time to move on, work together for a united front in 2014 and focus on the key issues that face our state including the economy, quality education, and public safety. If we work together, I know we can once again sweep every statewide office and two-thirds majorities in both houses of our State Legislature just as we did in 2010.

Thank you for giving me the honor of your attention and for your dedicated service to our Grand Old Party and the Great State of Arizona!

Sincerely,
Governor Jan Brewer

What stuck out for me right away was how Governor Brewer took care not to mention that which assured her electoral prospects in 2010 more than anything else when she signed it into law that April, and likely helped the rest of the GOP statewide slate considerably as well: SB1070. Turns out not the only one who noticed the omission. The anti-Medicaid expansion group United Republican Alliance of Principled Conservatives noticed it too.

Glaringly absent in the Governor’s repertoire is SB1070. SB1070 is the landmark legislation of Arizona that encompasses our true individualistic spirit and the Governor does not mention it once. State sovereignty exists in the fiber of every Principled Conservative but is lacking in the Governor. She has the audacity to claim that the super majority win in 2010 was due to her one cent sales tax increase, Prop 100, instead of the tireless work of the PC’s fueled by the energy of SB1070!

She was their bestie 3 years ago when they were putting billboards in her honor all over the state for “Doing the Job the Feds Won’t Do” but now she’s off with her new BFFs at the Chamber, who don’t think overt anti-Hispanic bigotry is a good look for 2014*.

*But let’s never forget how they were fine with it in 2010.

1 Comment(s)

  1. Comment by Mike Slater on July 25, 2013 4:14 pm

    I went to the Republican headquarters the other day and they are not happy with Jan. While I was there I signed the petition to put the Medicaid expansion on the ballot.

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