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Concerns Over Senate Health Care Would Impact Medicaid In Arizona

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act say the Senate’s replacement bill is just as bad for Arizona as the House version.

That criticism comes as senators gear up to debate the bill in the coming days.

It’s not clear yet whether Arizona’s senators will get behind the bill, but both will have to contend with how it affects Medicaid in their state. Like the House version, the Senate’s bill would restructure the federal program so funding is capped. It also limits the growth of Medicaid and eventually phases out the expansion, which has added more than 400,000 people to the rolls in Arizona.

Supporters of the bill argue it will give states more flexibility to run their programs, but Rodd McLeod with the Alliance for Healthcare Security says that’s a misnomer.

“They are going to give states less money, then they say to the state okay you have two million people you want to cover, we are going to limit the amount of money you have to pay for their care so now we are going to give you more flexibility to decide who to kick off," McLeod said.

It’s expected that the Congressional Budget Office will release its score of how the bill would impact health-care coverage and funding next week.

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.