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Arizona Supreme Court to Release Medicaid Suit Decision

Published: Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - 3:05pm
Updated: Tuesday, December 30, 2014 - 4:05pm

The Arizona Supreme Court will announce Wednesday morning whether it’ll allow a group of GOP state lawmakers to challenge Arizona’s Medicaid expansion plan.

The 36 legislators have argued the assessment on hospitals to pay for the expansion is a tax, which would require a two-thirds vote in both chambers to pass. The expansion passed with a simple majority.

At issue is whether the lawmakers have standing to sue, a Maricopa County judge ruled they do not, that decision was then overturned by the state Court of Appeals, which ruled the case should move forward. If the Arizona Supreme Court agrees, the courts will then hear arguments on whether the assessment is a tax or not. If the high court rules the legislators do not have standing, the case will be over.

A coalition of Democrats and some Republicans joined Governor Brewer in approving Medicaid expansion in 2013, as part of the Affordable Care Act. It extended coverage to adults without kids, earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level.

CORRECTION: Revised to say a two-thirds vote is required to pass. Updated 12/30/14 at 3:28 p.m.