Lawsuit targets Medicaid expansion in Arizona - KMSP-TV

Lawsuit targets Medicaid expansion in Arizona

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PHOENIX -

Opponents of a new law expanding Medicaid in Arizona are taking their fight to court.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of 36 Republican legislators and a pair of citizens was filed by lawyers for the Goldwater Institute on Thursday.

The suit targets GOP Gov. Jan Brewer's plan to expand the state's health care program for the poor to about 300,000 additional Arizonans.  The federal government picks up most of the cost. 

It contends a hospital assessment in the law is a tax that required a ? vote of the Legislature under the state Constitution.

"We think the Constitution absolutely guarantees a ? super majority vote and that didn't take place here," said Kurt Altman of the Goldwater Institute.  "We believe that it clearly is a violation of the Constitution."

The move comes a day after opponents came up short of the signatures needed to force a voter referendum on the law.

The law was passed in June over the objections of conservative Republicans.

Gov. Brewer would not comment on camera, but her office did send us a statement, saying in part:

"We're confident in our legal position and will save our arguments for court, if it comes to that. I will note that every challenge to Governor Brewer's Medicaid restoration plan has been unsuccessful."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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