Monday, November 22, 2010

FACT CHECK: House Democrats prove Brewer lying about transplants

Brewercare creates death panels for transplant patients

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Gov. Jan Brewer is lying to the public about her cuts to funding for life-saving transplants, and House Democrats are holding her accountable.

Brewer lie #1: Federal health care law makes it too hard to fund transplants.
The federal health care law has nothing to do with transplants in Arizona. Brewer signed into law the cuts to life-saving transplants BEFORE the federal law passed.
The federal health care law in 2010 gave Brewer a choice by saying that if Arizona wants to keep federal matching money, it needs to maintain current spending on AHCCCS. However, transplants are not included in this requirement, which shows again that federal law has nothing to do with funding transplants in Arizona.
Every other state in the country funds transplants and they are bound to the same federal law.

Brewer lie #2: Brewer says the 2009 federal stimulus act came with rules saying she can’t make any cuts to AHCCCS that would allow her to free up money to spend on transplants. She claims that all the budget money went to AHCCCS, leaving no room to fund transplants, which weren’t included in the federal requirement.
Brewer cut $60.6 million from AHCCCS after the stimulus bill passed, because the stimulus bill allowed all states to cut money from AHCCCS.

Transplant timeline:
January 2009
· Brewer cuts funding for transplants.
· The state legislature cuts the statutory requirement that AHCCCS provide transplants.
· Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema’s amendment successfully restores the statutory requirement but an amendment to restore the funding for transplants is not approved.
· Therefore, state law requires AHCCCS to provide transplants, but it also doesn’t allow specific funding for those transplants.
Floor Amendment:

February 2009
· Federal stimulus bill passes, which requires the state fund AHCCCS to a certain point and still allows major cuts to AHCCCS.
· Since the passage, Brewer has made more than $60.6 million in cuts to AHCCCS.
· AHCCCS continued covering transplants through October 2010 using general AHCCCS funds not appropriated to transplants.

March 2010
· Brewer eliminates the statutory requirement that AHCCCS cover transplants.
· Democratic amendments to restore it are unsuccessful.
· Federal health care law passes, saying the state must maintain AHCCCS funding to receive matching funds, but transplants are not part of that requirement.
Statute that eliminated certain transplants:

September 2010
· Brewer spends $2 million on discretionary stimulus money on algae research.

October 2010
· Bone marrow transplant patient Mark Price loses AHCCCS coverage for his transplant surgery, is saved by a benefactor/donor.
· Brewer still has $30 million of discretionary stimulus dollars in her coffers, according to state economists.

November 2010
· A family friend of liver transplant patient Francisco Felix dies and donates her liver to him.
· Felix, who is on AHCCCS no longer has transplant coverage and is left with a few hours to come up with $200,000 to pay for the transplant.
· Felix loses his opportunity and the family friend’s liver goes to someone else.
· State economists say Brewer has said she used $30 million of discretionary stimulus dollars, but has not told the public what she used them for.
· House Democrats file a public records request to find out what she spent Arizona’s tax dollars on.
· State economists say transplants will cost only $1.2 million next year.



  1. I thought we balanced the budget, Jan? Do we still have to have these kinds of cheese fights?

  2. Who's lying?

    According to the American Liver Foundation, the immediate transplant
    costs (those associated with the surgery itself) average around
    $250,000 for hospital and physician expenses. Pre-operative and
    post-operative care pushes the average total cost to about $314,000.
    (Other sources place this figure at closer to $500,000). The costs
    associated with the surgery vary widely, depending upon a number of
    factors, including the patient's age, overall health, and region of
    the country, and transplant center:

    "The fact is, expenses vary according to center, location, your
    medical condition, insurance status and financial situation."

    So according to my non-scientific calculations, that's about 4 transplants to get to your 1.2 million. I'm sure there are other types that are even more expensive and some that are less expensive.

    Perhaps you should review what President Obama has done before making accusations. Facts are facts, and I'm one of the Veterans that has served, and then worked in a civilian job for 13 years before being laid off Dec 1st. Democrats say the job reports are improving...well prove it. I can't work a retail $8 and hour job to support my family...can you?