Center for Law in the Public Interest Sues Over State's Health-Care Rollback

The Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest petitioned the Arizona Supreme Court today to block a proposal by Gov. Jan Brewer to deny state-subsidized health-care coverage to low-income Arizonans.

Tim Hogan, executive director of the Center for Law in the Public Interest, said in a court filing that the Brewer administration’s plan to cut health-care spending flies in the race of the Healthy Arizona proposition approved by voters in 2000.

“This Court must uphold the law that Arizona voters approved in 2000,” Hogan wrote. “If it fails to do so, countless Arizonans will be denied health care to which they are entitled. If the Governor and legislature truly believe the only way to balance the budget is by reducing eligibility to the Proposition 204 population, then they should make their case to the people of Arizona who approved Proposition 204 in the first place. Absent approval of the voters, the Governor and the legislature lack the authority to repeal Proposition 204.”

GOP lawmakers balanced the state budget by cutting more than a half-billion dollars from health-care programs earlier this year, but gave Brewer discretion over how to slash the spending.

While she hasn’t attempted to take health-care insurance away from Arizonans who are currently covered under the Healthy Arizona proposition, Brewer has proposed denying healthcare insurance to any childless adults below the federal poverty level who apply in the future, as well as parents who earn between 75 percent and 100 percent of the federal poverty level.