Tuesday, November 16, 2010

House Democrats demand funding for transplants, action from GOP majority

Man’s life threatened when discharged from scheduled transplant due to GOP health care cuts

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Democrats are urging Gov. Jan Brewer and the Republican majority to reinstate funding that will save a transplant candidate’s life, which is in jeopardy today due to their cuts.

Francisco Felix was discharged today from Banner Good Samaritan Hospital after losing his opportunity for a liver transplant, according to KTAR. The liver Felix was due to receive will be given to someone else because he was kicked off of AHCCCS thanks to cuts by a Republican majority and Brewer; Felix needed AHCCCS coverage or $200,000 to pay for it himself, his wife, Flor Felix said.

“This is outrageous,” said Rep. Anna Tovar, D-Tolleson (District 13), a transplant survivor. “Republicans and Gov. Brewer should be ashamed of themselves for turning a blind eye to someone who has a family and will die without this transplant. They made the cuts and now Mr. Felix and his family will suffer the deadly consequences for Republicans’ decisions.”

On Oct. 5, House Appropriations Chair Rep. John Kavanagh told The Arizona Guardian:
"It does look like an error was made and needs to be corrected. We're not going to let people die because of a mistake. If a mistake was made, we'll come back and undo it... Obviously it will have to be in the next couple of weeks."

Kavanagh then made no effort to correct the mistake and now Felix’s life hangs in the balance.

“It is just unbelievable that Republicans, who now control virtually all of state government, would allow people to die on their watch due to their own mistake,” said House Democratic Leader David Lujan. “Gov. Brewer and Republicans need to correct this mistake by giving back what they took away from these families and ensuring that they have a chance to live.”

The Felix family reached out to Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema Monday night before the scheduled transplant. The family asked Sinema for help because she has been working on reinstating the funding for months.

Felix’s wife is Flor Felix is available for comment at 623-695-5060. Sinema will be available for comment at 602-570-7217 until 3 p.m. and Tovar is available for comment after 4 p.m. at 623-208-3338.


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