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Arizonans for Sensible Health Care Policy Outline Constitutional Challenge to Restoration Referendum Pushed by Fringe Groups

July 12, 2013
Press Release

Arizonans for Sensible Health Care Policy Outline Constitutional Challenge to Restoration Referendum Pushed by Fringe Groups

Contact:                                                                                         
Kory A. Langhofer
(602) 382‐4078 
klanghoffer@BFHS 
or
Jaime A Molera 
(602) 279‐9925 
JM@ma‐firm.com
For Immediate Release:
July 12, 2013


Attorney Kory Langhofer, representing Arizonans for Sensible Heath Care Policy, submitted the attached letter to Secretary of State Ken Bennett today outlining the unconstitutional referral being advocated for by fringe groups who have opposed the Governor’s Medicaid Restoration plan from the beginning. Langhofer clearly lays out the unconstitutional nature of the referral.

The Referred Measure Is a Law for the “Support and Maintenance” of AHCCCS.

  • Under the Arizona constitution, “laws... for the support and maintenance of the departments of the state government and state institutions” cannot be referred to the ballot.
     
  • The Draft Referendum is inconsistent with the Support and Maintenance Provision because it attempts to refer statutory provisions that would raise state funds from hospitals for the restoration of Medicaid benefits in the AHCCCS system.
     
  • The Draft Referendum is also inconsistent with the Support and Maintenance Provision because it attempts to refer statutory provisions that would ensure continued and available federal funding for the restoration of Medicaid benefits in the AHCCCS system.
    • On April 25, 2013, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued written guidance to states indicating that, unless Arizona amended its laws governing eligibility for Medicaid benefits, the state would lose federal funding for AHCCCS at the end of the calendar year.
       
  • The restoration of Medicaid coverage in Arizona by slightly increasing eligibility is therefore essential to the continued support and maintenance of Medicaid benefits in Arizona.

The Draft Referendum violates the law because it attempts to refer a measure raising state funds and ensuring continued available federal funds for the support and maintenance of AHCCCS and its programs. Because the Draft Referendum violates constitutional requirements, Arizona courts will conclude that it does not strictly comply with the law and strike the Draft Referendum from the ballot even if it supporters gather the requisite petition signatures.

Please see the attached letter.  For any questions, please contact Kory Langofer at 602-382-4078 or klanghofer@bhfs.com.

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