State Rep. Matt Heinz to Feds: Deny Brewer Adminstration's Effort To Cut Health Insurance for Poor Arizonans

Democratic state Rep. Matt Heinz of Tucson urges the federal government to deny the Brewer administration's request for waivers to cut back on health-care insurance for low-income Arizonans and charge new fees for various services:

As a practicing physician I know firsthand the devastating consequences that the pending Medicaid waiver will have on our most vulnerable patients, the emergency medical infrastructure and the health care sector of the state economy, which has been a stabilizing force during the ongoing recession.

The federal government should deny this outstanding waiver request to freeze enrollment
for many low-income childless adults and parents.

The waiver request runs counter to affordable health care for all Americans, allowing for fewer individuals to receive health care coverage through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System or AHCCCS, forcing almost 200,000 of our most vulnerable citizens to forego comprehensive and preventive care.

Even a temporary setback of this magnitude cannot be tolerated.

Many of these patients have chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart and lung diseases, and cancer. I know from my work at Tucson Medical Center as a hospital physician that people with untreated chronic conditions will develop severe complications requiring urgent and expensive hospitalization. Such delays in treatment increase patient and family suffering and unnecessarily burden an emergency medical system that is already stretched far too thin.

Additionally, the large amounts of limited health-care resources required to treat uncontrolled chronic diseases tend to increase uncompensated care, ultimately increasing the cost of health care for all Arizonans.