Arizona Passes Medicaid Expansion, Giving Jan Brewer A Victory For Obamacare

June 13, 2013 1:59 p.m.

The Arizona Senate passed legislation Thursday to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act after fierce pressure tactics by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer against her own party.

The Arizona House passed the budget measure with the Medicaid expansion earlier Thursday. The bill now goes to the desk of Brewer, who has championed it. It’s expected to cover 300,000 new Arizonans and funded predominantly by the federal government.

“I am grateful to the Arizona lawmakers who have acted with courage and conviction by completing the people‚Äôs business,” Brewer said in a statement. “But I also know this in my heart: The great majority of Arizonans stand with us. Our citizens have — time and again — voted to extend cost-effective care to the working poor.”

Republicans initially rejected the expansion. But they let it come up after Brewer made good on threats to veto all bills until the GOP-led legislature adopted the Obamacare-based expansion. She even threatened to oust Republican leaders if they blocked the measure.

The favorable votes in the legislature came from Democrats and a coalition of moderate Republicans, according to the Associated Press. Conservatives vigorously oppose the expansion, seeing as an endorsement of Obamacare.

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