Jan Brewer To GOP: Expand Medicaid Or I’ll Veto All Bills

Arizona’s Republican Gov. Jan Brewer is stepping up her pressure on the GOP-led legislature to expand Medicaid by declaring a moratorium on legislating until they give in.

Brewer vetoed five unrelated bills on Thursday, according to the Arizona Republic, and threatened to keep blocking legislation until Republicans expand Medicaid to cover thousands of Arizonans, which Obamacare permits at minimal cost to the state.

“I warned that I would not sign additional measures into law until we see resolution of the two most pressing issues facing us: adoption of a fiscal 2014 state budget and plan for Medicaid,” Brewer wrote in a statement explaining her decision. “It is disappointing I must demonstrate the moratorium was not an idle threat.”

Republicans in state legislatures are facing significant pressure from their right flank to reject the expansion, a move that conservative activists see as their last line of defense against Obamacare. Arizona state House Republicans who support Brewer’s Medicaid expansion plan are reporting growing threats of retribution, according to the Republic.

Numerous Republican governors in red states have rejected the expansion. Others, mostly in blue or swing states, have accepted it, facing pressure from not only constituents but hospitals and industry groups who want the infusion of federal health care money into the states.

[h/t ThinkProgress]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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