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ACA Replacement To Shed Nearly 400,000 From AZ Medicaid Rolls

State estimates of the impact of the American Heatlh Care Act.

Arizona’s Medicaid program could shed nearly 400,000 people by 2023 under the Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act, according to a new state analysis.

The GOP's American Health Care Act would essentially reverse much of what the ACA did for the state’s Medicaid program, known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.

The extra federal funding tied to former President Barack Obama’s signature health law allowed Arizona to restore coverage for single adults up to the federal poverty level. That population became eligible in 2000 when Arizona voters passed the ballot measure Proposition 204.

State lawmakers froze enrollment for that category during the recession because of the budget crisis. Not only did the ACA re-open enrollment for those adults, but it also required the state to raise eligibility up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level.

The Republican bill would not provide any new, enhanced funding for the expansion population after 2019. It would run the state nearly half a billion dollars by 2023 to keep just the Proposition 204 population insured. That scenario would result in about 108,000 people losing coverage, rather than 383,000.

The state's analysis also points to the impact on the health-care economy. If the state freezes enrollment for the entire expansion population, that would soon decrease overall AHCCCS spending by about $2.5 billion.

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill on Thursday.

Will Stone grew up with the sounds of public radio. As a senior field correspondent, he strives to tell the same kind of powerful stories that got him into the business — whether that means trudging through some distant corner of the Sonoran Desert or uncovering an unknown injustice right down the street. Since joining the KJZZ newsroom in 2015, he has covered political scandals, fights over the future of energy, and efforts to care for some of Arizona’s most vulnerable communities. His pieces have also aired on national programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now and Marketplace. Before coming to KJZZ, he reported for public radio stations in Nevada and Connecticut. Stone received his degree in English literature from Haverford College, where he also wrote about the arts and culture scene in Philadelphia. After graduating, he interned at NPR West in Culver City, California, where he learned from some of the network’s veteran reporters and editors. When he doesn’t have a mic in hand, Stone enjoys climbing mountains, running through his central Phoenix neighborhood and shamelessly promoting his cat, Barry.