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Medicaid expansion needs everyone's support

February 25, 2013

Expanding Arizona’s Medicaid program is vital to the well-being of children and their parents — our state’s working poor. As Arizona’s leading professional pediatric organization, we strongly urge support for Gov. Jan Brewer’s proposal. Medicaid expansion will:
 
Reduce health-care costs by providing preventive-care services. Children on Medicaid receive routine check-ups, immunizations and acute-care services in physician offices, decreasing ER visits and hospitalizations.
 
Reduce the uncompensated care burden on Arizona hospitals, especially in rural communities. The current system is not sustainable.
 
Provide Arizona with up to $2billion in federal dollars that otherwise would be lost to other states. Arizona’s Medicaid program, AHCCCS, is nationally recognized for its high-quality, cost-effective care. Expanding it will continue that tradition and have a dramatic impact on the quality of life for many struggling families. Our 900 members across the state urge the Legislature to support Brewer’s proposal. It’s the most cost-effective way for the state to restore coverage for low-income adults and supports the will of the voters who approved expanding the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.
 
—Dale Guthrie,
 
Phoenix
 
The writer is president of the Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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