Wednesday, June 22, 2011

AHCCCS cuts -- Arizona responds

On behalf of the State of Arizona, Atty. Gen. Tom Horne filed responses to Tim Hogan's petition for special action and request for an injunction to prevent the AHCCCS cuts from taking place July 1.  Horne did so because of the Arizona Constitution implications of the case.  However, staff attorneys for Gov. Brewer as well as the law firms of Ballard Spahr (Joe Kanefield, former Brewer staff atty.) and the Johnston Law Offices PLC on behalf of AHCCCS director Tom Betlach also filed responses.

On first glance, it appears Ballard Spahr's response is focused on interpretation of Prop 204, the voter initiative which amended the state constitution to require AHCCCS coverage for all Arizona citizens with incomes at or less than 100 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

One of the arguments the Governor and Betlach's response makes is that efforts were made by the agency and the state legislature to enhance revenue and cut expenses to deal with unprecedented fiscal crisis and therefore there IS NO other available funding to provide the coverage mandated by voters in Prop 204.

Also noteworthy tangentially, the response filed by Ballard Spahr (which is also Republican counsel for the IRC) certainly does not look like the work of a "Liberal law firm," as public comments at recent redistricting commission meetings have alleged.

If readers are interested in reading the responses filed yesterday and today in this case, drop me a line at the email address noted in the left hand column of the blog and I will get them posted where they can be downloaded.

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