Letter: Expansion of Medicaid crucial to Arizona’s working poor - East Valley Tribune: Letters To The Editor

Letter: Expansion of Medicaid crucial to Arizona’s working poor

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Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013 12:37 pm

Expanding Arizona’s Medicaid program is vital to the wellbeing of children and their parents — our state’s working poor. As Arizona’s leading professional pediatric organization, we strongly urge support for Gov. Jan Brewer’s proposal.

Medicaid expansion will:

• Reduce health care costs by providing preventive care services. Children on Medicaid receive routine check-ups, immunizations and acute care services in physician offices, decreasing ER visits and hospitalizations.

• Reduce the uncompensated care burden on Arizona hospitals, especially in rural communities. The current system is not sustainable over the long term.

• Provide Arizona with up to $2 billion in federal dollars that otherwise would be lost to other states.

Arizona’s AHCCCS Medicaid program is nationally recognized for its high quality, cost-effective care. Expanding it will continue that tradition and have a dramatic impact on the quality of life for many struggling families.

Our 900 members across the state urge the Arizona Legislature to support Gov. Brewer’s proposal. It’s the most cost-effective way for the state to restore coverage for low- income adults and supports the will of the voters who approved expanding AHCCCS.

Dale Guthrie, M.D.

President, Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

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