MAY 21, 2014

Governor Brewer files Petition for Review with Arizona Supreme Court

Asks court to review opinion in Medicaid Restoration lawsuit
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PHOENIX – Governor Jan Brewer and AHCCCS Director Tom Betlach petitioned the Arizona Supreme Court to review the recent appellate court decision regarding the state’s Motion to Dismiss a lawsuit aiming to prevent implementation of the Medicaid Restoration law.

In February, the Arizona Superior Court granted the state’s Motion on the basis that the plaintiffs – primarily a few state lawmakers who voted against the governor’s Medicaid Restoration Plan during last year’s legislative session – lacked standing to sue. An appeals court in April overturned the trial court ruling, allowing the lawsuit to move forward.

Statement from Governor Brewer:
“I am hopeful that the Arizona Supreme Court will agree to review the Court of Appeal’s decision. Permitting the appellate decision to stand confuses and misapplies existing Arizona Supreme Court case law and would set a disturbing precedent in Arizona – one that would result in our courts acting as referees in the legislative process, and also opening a Pandora’s box for future baseless, politically-charged lawsuits.

“More importantly, should the implementation of the Medicaid Restoration Plan be prevented, it would throw approximately 150,000  Arizonans (and climbing) off of health insurance, thereby preventing them from receiving critical, cost-effective healthcare through our model AHCCCS program; defy the will of the Arizona voters, who have twice voted to require Medicaid eligibility for all Arizonans at or below one hundred percent of the federal poverty level; threaten the viability of our state’s rural and safety net hospitals; and decimate our state budget, undermining our ability to fund critical areas including child safety, education, public safety and services to Arizona’s most vulnerable populations.

“Simply put, the end result of allowing this challenge to proceed by these legislator plaintiffs would be a blow to our citizens who overwhelmingly support the bi-partisan and critical restoration plan – particularly those whose access to necessary healthcare hangs in the balance. I am optimistic the Arizona Supreme Court will review this crucial matter and reaffirm its well-established precedent, and prevent the legislative and public policy process from being held hostage by a minority of upset state lawmakers who lost a political debate.”

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