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Medicaid Expansion: Arizona's Governor Brewer Holds Obama-Style Press Event, States Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

TUCSON, Ariz., March 6, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- After a Mar 5 press event on the lawn at the Arizona State House of Representatives, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) issued the following statement:

"In an event resembling President Obama's promoting passage of his signature health care reform bill flanked by white-coated physicians, Republican Gov. Jan Brewer spoke to the press, backed up by dozens of physicians and nurses in medical attire, to promote passage of Medicaid expansion.

"Representatives of several groups also delivered supportive statements. These included the Arizona Medical Association and the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association, neither of which had polled their members on this subject.

"Representatives of the Arizona State Chapter of AAPS and the Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity, among others, came dressed in black. At first they were told they could hold their signs, but not mount them on anything, but before the governor appeared they were required to move their signs (and three skeletons) to the sidewalk, out of the governor's view.

"Messages on the signs included: 'Medicaid is a cash cow for managed care,' 'Don't railroad Arizonans into ObamaCare,' and 'Abide by Prop. 108.' Proposition 108 requires a two-thirds majority on bills that raise taxes, and the hospital 'assessment' needed to 'leverage' federal funds is a tax.

"The Governor boasted that Arizona is the 'gold standard' for Medicaid. Arizona could capture $2 billion in federal funds that otherwise would go to other states, without impacting Arizona's general fund, she stated. The funds were needed to save hospitals facing huge increases in uncompensated care. She and supporters lamented that thousands of people were about to lose Medicaid coverage, and that uninsured people delayed care, resulting in emergency visits and worse outcomes.

"Not mentioned is that Arizona, unlike other states, forces all Medicaid patients into managed-care plans, and that less than 25% of all that 'gold' is paid to hospitals. No concern was expressed about millions of Americans who will lose private insurance because of ObamaCare and be forced into Medicaid.

"Delays that Medicaid patients experience because they can't find a doctor—or because delay or denial of treatment is the essence of the business model of managed care—apparently don't count."

AAPS is providing legislators with questions to be asked about the proposed expansion and encouraging them to consider proposals that empower patients and cost much less.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, was founded in 1943 to promote the practice of private medicine.

CONTACT: Jane M. Orient, M.D., (520) 323-3110, janeorientmd@gmail.comSource:Association of American Physicians & Surgeons