Gov. Brewer holds rally for Medicaid expansion - KMSP-TV

Gov. Brewer holds rally for Medicaid expansion

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Jan Brewer Jan Brewer

Governor Jan Brewer held another rally at the state capitol Wednesday, continuing to push for lawmakers to support Medicaid expansion in Arizona.

Today she moved one step closer to making that happen. The senate majority leader announced he's sponsoring a budget amendment that would expand Medicaid coverage to an additional 300,000 Arizonans.

Wednesday's rally made for interesting politics, as the conservatives who usually rally around the governor are booing her and those who feel ignored by her now view her as their champion.

Hundreds gathered Wednesday for the Governor's Medicaid Restoration rally at the Capitol, with signs both for and against.

"These people are being duped!" said Jacqueline Leslie, who is among the roughly 25 people who showed up to protest taking $1.3 billion in federal money to expand Arizona's Medicare.

These are Republican conservatives who used to be firmly in Governor Brewer's camp.

"I had trust in Jan until she pulled this," says Michael Tennant, a Sun Lakes Republican. "I know that the government is going to screw us, they will throw out that, pull it back and we'll be on our own."

The governor, along with many in Arizona's healthcare and business communities, support taking the $1.3 billion to expand Medicaid and cover about 300,000 more of Arizona's poor and disabled.

"That's exactly it, and save lives. Literally it's going to save lives for people to have healthcare. People will be able to get prevention so they'll be less disability," says Amina Kruck, supporter of the expansion.

"AHCCCS members scheduled to lose coverage at the end of the year are counting on us and the Arizona voters who twice voted to expand Medicare in this state are counting on us," says Gov. Jan Brewer.

Many Republican legislators oppose expanding Medicaid -- many are usually on the same side as the governor.

"I don't think the opponents realize how hard we are going to fight," says Brewer.

The legislature has been deadlocked for several weeks over this, and the governor has said she won't move forward any more bills until the Medicaid expansion is resolved.

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