Monday, March 29, 2010

Brewer ignores $7 billion hole, chooses to file frivolous lawsuit

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Gov. Jan Brewer’s frivolous lawsuit fails to address the real problem Arizona faces — Arizona will lose $7 billion in overall health care funding if Brewer and Republicans fail to restore KidsCare, House Democrats said Monday.

KidsCare can be restored for free, thanks to another round of federal stimulus dollars approved by the U.S. Senate earlier this month.

“What Attorney General Terry Goddard said about Gov. Brewer’s lawsuit is right — it has no merit, and participating in this type of suit is a waste of taxpayer dollars,” said House Democratic Leader David Lujan. “As an attorney, in my legal opinion, Gov. Brewer’s lawsuit is frivolous and it is based neither on fact nor on the law.”

National health reform law states that KidsCare must be maintained until 2019 to receive federal matching dollars for all health care, so that health care will be affordable for all Arizona families.

But Brewer and Republicans chose to kick 42,000 Arizona children off of health care, by eliminating KidsCare. To receive $7 billion in health care funding, Arizona must restore KidsCare, which costs about $15 million, a small fraction of the billions of dollars Arizona will receive if it’s restored. By not restoring it, Republicans also will cost the state thousands of more health care jobs.

“This program can easily be restored for free, thanks to another round of federal stimulus dollars coming our way in about a month, and it won’t cost Arizona a single penny,” said Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema. “But, Gov. Brewer decided that she would rather pull a cheap political stunt —spending taxpayer dollars on a baseless lawsuit that has no legal merit whatsoever —than restore the KidsCare program.”

Another round of federal stimulus dollars was approved on March 10 in the U.S. Senate, including $400 million for Arizona. A small portion of that will cover the entire 2011 cost of KidsCare. The bill is expected to receive President Obama’s signature within a month.

“Republicans are sending the message that they would rather fight the federal government and make taxpayers pay for their frivolous lawsuit than make sure kids and seniors have health care,” said House Democratic Whip Chad Campbell. “Republicans know that the simple option to apply the new round of federal stimulus dollars to KidsCare exists, but they haven’t done anything about it. That’s the kind of lack of common sense and failed leadership we see every day and that many Arizonans have seen for the past 40 years from Republican ideologues.”

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