Arizona Prop. 204 Requires Federal Funds to Implement
Implementing Arizona's Proposition 204 -- which will bring 130,000 working poor adults into the state's health care system by raising income eligibility from 34% to 100% of the federal poverty line -- "won't be simple," the Arizona Republic reports (West, Arizona Republic, 11/9). Sixty-three percent of voters approved the measure Tuesday (American Health Line, 11/8). Supporters hope to make the expansion by next summer, but "others say it could take more time." State Sen.-elect Andy Nichols (D), who supported the measure and will "lead the charge" to implement it, said he hopes the federal government will cover two-thirds of the initiative's annual $240 million cost. Without federal dollars, said Andy Rinde, executive director of the Arizona Association of Community Health Centers, all of the state's share of the tobacco settlement, plus an additional $120 million from "other state revenues," would need to be used to pay for the expanded coverage (Arizona Republic, 11/9).