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November 29th, 2012
Grijalva Statement on Gov. Brewer Decision to Allow Federal Government to Establish Health Insurance Exchange for Arizona

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today released the following statement on Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s refusal to establish a health insurance exchange for Arizona, leaving the work to federal officials.

“Governor Brewer’s decision is a missed opportunity to show some leadership on one of the major public policy issues of our time. Fortunately, we have an administration and a federal government working tirelessly to provide the quality care Arizonans deserve. The Department of Health and Human Services, in doing the work Gov. Brewer will not, is prepared to meet the unique health needs of Arizona’s changing population, and I look forward to working with the appropriate officials to see it happen in a fair, timely and cost-effective way.

“Low-income Americans and racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to have health insurance than the population as a whole. That’s just reality. A strong health insurance exchange with quality products and reasonable prices is particularly vital for the people of Southern Arizona.”

An exchange is a one-stop marketplace for customers to compare the features and prices of private health insurance plans and pick one that best fits his or her needs and thoseof his or her family. Beginning in 2014, exchanges will be the primary means of finding and purchasing health coverage for most Americans. When the exchanges are established, customers will be able to:

·         Look for and compare private health plans

·         Get answers to questions about health coverage options

·         Find eligibility for health programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or tax credits that make coverage more affordable

·         Enroll in a new health plan if desired

·         Receive premium and cost-sharing credits for  individuals/families with income between 133-400% of the federal poverty level

Separately from her choice not to establish an exchange, Brewer still must decide whether Arizona will accept federal funding to expand Medicaid coverage statewide. Rep. Grijalva has consistently argued against eligibility cuts to Arizona’s Medicaid program, pointing to the major economic benefits Medicaid dollars bring to the state economy.

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