Finally, Brewer's decision is about economics. She understands that rejecting this expansion would destroy Arizona's hospital system. By agreeing to expand, Arizona would protect rural and safety-net hospitals from being pushed to the brink as they care for the poor and uninsured. With this move, Arizona will secure a federal revenue system to cover the costs of the uninsured who already access the health care system. The Oklahoma Hospital Association has been a leader in making some of these same arguments.
The Arizona legislature will still need to approve the expansion, but Brewer's leadership and bold stance should be applauded. I applaud Fallin for seeking other ways to address health care access, but I encourage her to reconsider Medicaid expansion.
Cox, R-Grove, represents District 5 in the Oklahoma House. He's an emergency room physician at Integris Grove General Hospital.