Approximately 238,000 uninsured Arizonans will now have access to health care coverage in the coming months, thanks to the state legislature’s passing of Governor Jan Brewer’s expansion proposal.
Over two hundred thousand. That’s a lot of people.
The legislature made the right decision yesterday, and now hundreds of thousands of hard-working, low-income women and families will have access to health care because of it. Not only will these residents have access to health coverage that includes preventive care, chronic disease treatment and other essential health services, but they also benefit from an increased sense of economic security and knowing that they will not be subjected to financial ruin in the case of a medical emergency. This is good fiscal policy on the state level too, as the federal government will be covering 100% of the expansion costs in the first few years and then at least 90% in later years. This decision will bring Arizona $8.8 billion in federal dollars and will save about $50 million in health care costs.
Women in Arizona will especially benefit from this decision, as close to 21% are currently uninsured. When combined with other initiatives in the Affordable Care Act, up to 177,000 women in Arizona who are currently uninsured will have access to affordable health insurance. The health benefits these women are eligible to receive include primary care, necessary screenings such as mammograms, prescriptions including contraception, and chronic disease treatment.