November 14, 2012 – Due to steep budget cuts, Arizona faces challenges funding its health care system, according to Gov. Jan Brewer’s chief health adviser. Don Hughes, Brewer’s health care policy adviser, delivered a lecture hosted by the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health to kick off Natural Rural Health Week. During the lecture, he described challenges Arizona will encounter with the expiration of the temporary one-cent sales tax created by Proposition 100. The tax, set to expire in May, funds education, public safety and health and human services. The Affordable Care Act expanded the coverage for Medicaid, and the national system is estimated to grow by about 16 million benefactiaries. In June, the Supreme Court ruled that states can voluntarily issue the expansion. Arizona opted to expand early on, hurting the state’s funding, Hughes said. Arizona will incur a cost of about $1.5 billion over the next four years, he added.
Link to Full Article: http://www.wildcat.arizona.edu/article/2012/11/rural-health-policies-111412