Governor's decision on Medicaid expansion expected soon - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Governor's decision on Medicaid expansion expected soon

PHOENIX (CBS5) -

We may be days away from a major announcement that will impact Arizona for years to come.

Gov. Jan Brewer is considering whether Arizona should opt in and expand the state's Medicaid program under the federal healthcare overhaul.

A number of Arizona healthcare officials have said that expanding the state's Medicaid program will not only provide health coverage to more than 300,000 Arizonans, it will also pour billions of dollars into the state economy, create jobs and reduce premiums for businesses.

Several state lawmakers have argued that expanding Arizona's Health Care Cost Containment System would be too expensive.

The latest data shows the AHCCCS expansion would cost Arizona $1.5 billion from 2014 to 2017.

But in return, the federal government would give Arizona around $7.9 billion back in matching funds.

Jim Gillcoatt is one of the thousands of Arizonans who would benefit from AHCCCS expansion.

The Valley dad was diagnosed with throat cancer during a routine physical.

"You kind of lose your will to live, to be honest with you," said Gillcoatt. "It takes it out of you. The fatigue is crushing."

Gillcoatt, 50, is a Phoenix nurse who told CBS5 that he always had a good job and always had health insurance.

But shortly after his first surgery Gillcoatt was unable to work and he lost his health coverage.

The father of five then applied for state assistance through AHCCCS, but was denied.

"I felt a lot of shame and guilt that I know I should be doing better, doing more, but I couldn't help it," Gillcoatt said.

Dr. Randy Oppenheimer is a head and neck surgeon, who said there are thousands of patients in Arizona just like Gillcoatt, battling a life and death disease with no health insurance.

But the Valley surgeon insists that it doesn't have to be that way.

Oppenheimer has teamed up with other healthcare officials to try and convince Brewer to expand the state's Medicaid program under the federal government's Affordable Care Act.

"If you see these patients early and you treat them early then they get a good cure," said Oppenheimer. "They go back to work and they can contribute to the workforce."

Oppenheimer has created a 10-minute documentary to address the problems with Arizona's healthcare system.

It can be seen at http://youtu.be/NdSnQak-uXY.

"I think people want to be out there and be productive," said Gillcoatt.

The governor has not yet made a decision on whether Arizona will opt in and expand the state's AHCCCS program. A spokesperson said she's studying all sides of the issue and is determined to do what's best for the state.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • breaking

    Trump cancels North Korea summit

    Trump cancels North Korea summit

    Thursday, May 24 2018 9:50 AM EDT2018-05-24 13:50:52 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 9:58 AM EDT2018-05-24 13:58:12 GMT

    "Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting," according to a statement released by the White House on Thursday.

    More >>

    "Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting," according to a statement released by the White House on Thursday.

    More >>
  • Uber ends self-driving program in Arizona after fatal crash

    Uber ends self-driving program in Arizona after fatal crash

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 1:43 PM EDT2018-05-23 17:43:18 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 9:55 AM EDT2018-05-24 13:55:35 GMT
    Uber is ending its operation of self-driving cars in Arizona more than two months after a woman was struck and killed by one of its vehicles. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, file)Uber is ending its operation of self-driving cars in Arizona more than two months after a woman was struck and killed by one of its vehicles. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, file)
    Uber is ending its operation of self-driving cars in Arizona more than two months after a woman was struck and killed by one of its vehicles. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, file)Uber is ending its operation of self-driving cars in Arizona more than two months after a woman was struck and killed by one of its vehicles. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, file)

    Uber is ending its operation of self-driving cars in Arizona more than two months after a woman was struck and killed by one of its vehicles.

    More >>

    Uber is ending its operation of self-driving cars in Arizona more than two months after a woman was struck and killed by one of its vehicles.

    More >>
  • Investigators: Russian military missile downed Flight MH17

    Investigators: Russian military missile downed Flight MH17

    Thursday, May 24 2018 5:32 AM EDT2018-05-24 09:32:04 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 9:54 AM EDT2018-05-24 13:54:07 GMT
    The passenger jet was headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it was was blown out of the sky over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. All 298 passengers and crew were killed. (Source: CNN)The passenger jet was headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it was was blown out of the sky over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. All 298 passengers and crew were killed. (Source: CNN)

    An international team of investigators say that detailed analysis of video images has established that the Buk missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly four years ago came from a Russia-based...

    More >>

    An international team of investigators say that detailed analysis of video images has established that the Buk missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly four years ago came from a Russia-based military unit.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly