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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Brewer, legislature lauded for Medicaid expansion

-AARP Among 400 Groups Supporting Bill, Signed Today-

(Phoenix, AZ)  -- Flanked by a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers, and numerous stakeholders that included AARP Arizona, Governor Jan Brewer today signed historic legislation that will restore and expand Medicaid coverage for thousands of vulnerable Arizonans. 

“Over the last five months, more than 400 community groups have rallied behind our effort,” said Governor Brewer. “This Medicaid Restoration Plan does not solve all of Arizona’s health care challenges. But it will extend cost-effective care to Arizona’s working poor, using the very tax dollars our citizens already pay to the federal government. It will help prevent our rural and safety-net hospitals from closing their doors. And it will boost our economy by creating more than 20,000 jobs at a time when Arizona needs them most.”

AARP Arizona was among a coalition of community groups that has worked to rally lawmakers behind the Governor’s plan since the legislative session opened in January.

“AARP commends the Governor’s leadership and those of the bipartisan coalition of legislators that voted to pass this bill.  Today’s event means that more than 300,000 vulnerable Arizonans will now have access to health care through our state’s AHCCCS program,” said AARP Arizona Advocacy Director Steve Jennings.

AARP has nearly 800,000 members that are 50 years of age and older in the state, many of whom have lost their jobs or are struggling in jobs without health insurance. 

“With the expansion of Arizona’s AHCCCS program, these vulnerable Arizonans will now be able to get the care they need, it will help keep our rural hospitals open and also avoid overcrowding in our hospital emergency rooms,” Jennings added.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en EspaƱol, a bilingual news source.  AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.

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