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Tobin: Medicaid expansion holding back state budget approval

Governor Jan Brewer's proposal to expand Medicaid in Arizona by using federal funds is a major bone of contention for lawmakers attempting to negotiate a new state budget. Speaker of the House Andy Tobin said it is not paralyzing talks on the spending plan but it is a big hurdle.

“It’s a very complicated system when you have to deal with federal legislation and make it fit into state legislation,” Tobin said. “And you know, we don’t have the same priorities as the federal government does. We’re not trying to grow our debt here in Arizona .”

Tobin does not see the budget votes as being there yet. Brewer said her plan can expand health care to 300,000 Arizonans without costing the state a dime.