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Health care bill's impact on Arizona if passed

Posted at 6:21 PM, Jun 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-27 21:21:25-04

Senate Republicans postponed the vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act Tuesday. 

"The good part of the discussion going on right now is the people are starting to ask a lot of questions about what will happen to me what will happen to my family," said Daniel Derksen, a University of Arizona College of Public Health professor. 

Derksen says 70 million Americans are currently covered by Medicaid and two million of those are in Arizona. 

"The estimate is either of these bills would cause about 400,000 Arizonans to lose their Medicaid coverage and be uninsured," he explained.

He says in rural communities, health infrastructure depends on small rural hospitals known as critical access hospitals and these would have a hard time providing services if funding was cut.

"In Arizona we have 14 critical access hospitals and they would be particularly hard hit by these drastic cuts," he said. 

Derksen says over the next 10 years, $7.3 billion in Arizona's federal Medicaid funding would be cut and with the loss of funding, nearly 25,000 jobs will be cut from Arizona.

U.S. Senator John McCain says Arizona has been nationally recognized for running one of the most efficient and cost-effective Medicaid programs in the country. 

He stated this type of legislation should reward the state, rather than penalize it.

Senator McCain stated he supports repealing and replacing Obamacare, but quote, "I will be working hard to include important measures that address the concerns raised by Governor Ducey and other leaders across our state about the bill's impact on Arizona's Medicaid system."