Friday, May 24, 2013

Republic's Robb of great service in understanding Medicaid debate

If you’re trying to unpack Gov. Brewer’s plan to restore the Proposition 204 childless adult population and expand the state’s Medicaid program, you need to check out Arizona Republic columnist Bob Robb’s writings on the subject. He’s putting on a clinic and making clear why the restoration/expansion plan is the best route for Arizona.

In his Apr. 12 piece, Robb writes, “Overall, the plan will spend less in state and local public resources to bring in considerably more in federal funds and provide far more extensive health care coverage to far more low-income Arizonans.”

His May 14 column on the risks to the state’s budget if we don’t adopt the governor’s plan was right point when he wrote, “Opponents of Gov. Jan Brewer’s Medicaid expansion proposal are recklessly minimizing the risk to the state’s fisc of not participating.”

And we have to remember that looming over this entire debate is a voter mandate under Proposition 204, passed 13 years ago. Robb reminds us of that vote, writing, “If the state isn’t going to ignore the Prop. 204 mandate, there are no options that are better than Brewer’s proposal. “

Robb warns opponents not to put too much stock in an appeals court decision regarding how closely the Legislature must hew to Prop. 204’s mandate. He writes, “Some say the mandate can just be ignored due to a state Court of Appeals decision upholding the freeze. That’s a very high-risk assumption. The Court of Appeals decision, written by Judge Patricia Norris, frankly makes no sense.”

Robb is not only one of the state’s best conservative columnists, he’s one of the best columnists period. His work of late has been a great service to the Medicaid debate.

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