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Arizona Medicaid Expansion Under Review By State Supreme Court

Arizona’s Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments against former Gov. Jan Brewer’s adoption of statewide Medicaid expansion. 

The decision comes six months after the state court of appeals said Brewer’s 2013 plan of charging hospitals assessment fees was constitutional. That money helps insure more than 400,000 low-income Arizona residents.

But, attorney Adi Dynar with the conservative Goldwater Institute plans to argue that the assessment is a tax and is therefore unconstitutional. He represents GOP lawmakers who voted against the fee and claim, under Arizona state law passed in 1992, which requires any tax must have a two-thirds majority vote for approval.

“That’s the question that the Supreme Court will have to confront,” Dynar said on behalf of the GOP lawmakers. “Our position is it is a tax. It walks like a tax. It talks like a tax. It is a tax.”

If the Supreme Court ultimately rules in favor of the GOP lawmakers, the state would lose about $265 million annually, which helps pay for those who signed up for the coverage since it was expanded in 2013.

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Holliday Moore is a native Arizonan and veteran journalist who joined KJZZ’s news team in January 2017.Moore graduated from Arizona State University after double majoring in mass communications and marketing/management. She spent her first two decades reporting for television news, beginning in small markets and working up to congressional correspondent in Washington, D.C., for a political news service.Family commitments in Arizona brought her back to the Southwest, where she covered legislative and court beats for Albuquerque’s KRQE-TV and the infamous Four Corner Manhunt as KREZ-TV’s managing editor.Back home in Phoenix, she developed ABC15’s “Democracy Project,” now instituted at all Scripps’ news stations nationwide. Her work garnered “Best Practices” recognition by the Poynter Institute and the prestigious Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.Her television reports, from sports to cultural issues, earned her multiple Emmy and Associated Press nominations, including a Rocky Mountain Emmy for her Hopi Partition Land Act coverage.As she started a family, Moore started her own media production agency, producing magazine-style travel stories for the Emmy-winning Arizona Highways Television show while working part time for a Valley radio station. She is convinced radio is where visual, sound, and print are merging through deeper storytelling. In her relatively short time with radio network affiliates, she has won four Edward R. Murrow Awards and multiple nominations from other professional news societies.Moore now teaches advanced broadcast writing to the next generation of reporters at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where a high percentage have gone on to receive national awards for their work in her class. She enjoys being back home near childhood friends and sharing the beautiful Arizona desert with her husband and young son.