AZ Supreme Court allows OBrewerCare challenge to proceed

Lobbing a parting shot in Gov. Jan Brewer’s direction as she leaves office, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that state lawmakers have legal standing to challenge the hospital bed tax that is being used to fund a Medicaid eligibility expansion. Read the Supreme Court’s 14-page Opinion here. All of the three dozen legislators are named on page one.

At stake in the lawsuit is a critical voter-enacted state constitutional protection that requires two-thirds of the legislature to approve tax or fee increases. Arizona’s Medicaid expansion was funded by a new provider tax on hospitals, and it was not approved by the required super-majority of the legislature.

Brewer has argued that the assessment is not subject to the super-majority requirement because it is an “administrative fee” that will be set by the director of Arizona’s Health Care Cost Containment System, not lawmakers per se. Three-dozen lawmakers —- all named in the opening page of the suit —- are represented by the Goldwater Institute, which argues that the super-majority voting requirement should, in fact, apply because the legislature must authorize all new taxes or fees before they can be adjusted by an agency administrator.

The Goldwater Institute, representing the petitioners, has more here.

This is the second legal challenge Brewer’s Medicaid scheme has faced. A Maricopa County Superior Court judge dismissed the lawmakers’ first attempt. Later an appeals court ruled that the lawsuit could go forward and the Arizona  Supreme Court agreed. The case will now proceed to trial.

Seeing Red AZ has covered this issue extensively: 

Aug. 22, 2013:  Are you with OBrewerCare or an extreme fringe group?

July 20, 2013:  Obama’s “Affordable Care Act” exposed as costly charade

June 11, 2013: Petulant Brewer holds legislators hostage

June 1, 2013:  National Review explains “Brewer’s Tantrum”

May 17, 2013:  AZ Senate RINOs cave on OBrewerCare expansion

Apr: 12, 2013: GOP lawmakers tank supporting OBrewerCare

Apr. 9, 2013:   New poll: Brewer’s AZ Medicaid expansion on shaky ground

Jan. 21, 2013: Nat’l Review slams Brewer’s ObamaCare $urrender

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6 Responses to AZ Supreme Court allows OBrewerCare challenge to proceed

  1. William Heuisler says:

    The Supreme Court could not have found any other way IMHO, because back in 1980 we (Citizens For Tax Relief) forced Babbitt, Barr, the Dems and the Repubs in the Legislature to place a Tax-cutting Initiative on the ballot in a Special Election to foil a much stricter AZ Constitutional Amendment – an Arizona facsimile of California’s Prop 13 we had gathered a quarter million signatures for a vote in the ’80 General election.
    In part the wording was, “Any new taxes, or changes in existing taxes, assessments or fees,..must be imposed by an act passed by no less than two-thirds of all members elected to each house of the Legislature.”
    To replace our Prop 13 the Legislature hurriedly used much of its wording for their Special Election. Now our wording is in our AZ Constitution. Irony.
    The bastards didn’t realize their mistake.

  2. SmallGovt says:

    Until people go after the rates of the doctors and hospitals by increasing competition medical costs will continue to greatly outpace inflation. How many ask what anything costs at your doctor instead of just asking if it is covered by insurance?

  3. MacBeth says:

    It will be fascinating to watch Doug Ducey wrangle his way around this issue. How he manages it will be a good indication of who actually occupies the governor’s office. We already know Jon McKyl is a key advisor and Kirk Adams his chief of staff. Very concerning.

  4. goodyearconservative says:

    Doug Ducey was supported by conservative rockstars like Ted Cruz and Joe Arpaio. If they endorsed someone who stands with the Chamber of Scumbags and Demorats than these guys ought to do their homework before associate their name with a candidate.

    Then again back in 12 I remember Mike Lee endorsed Jeff Flake over the real conservative Wil Cardon. I wonder if Mike Lee regrets that endorsement since McFlake and his McMentor McCain attacked and voted against the Lee/Cruz effort to stop Obama’s executive amnesty.

    • Borderhawk says:

      Jeff Flake was out undermining Steve King. Feeding disinfo to his Democrat opponent.

      Breitbart has a story with Flake telling Jeb Bush to stay away from Iowa.

      Flake is still seething from when King invited Cruz and Mike Lee to to talk to the GOP House members while taking a dump on Flake’s amnesty bill.

      “http://www.bleedingheartland.com/diary/7204/ia04-steve-kingjim-mowrer-debate-liveblog-and-discussion-thread

      He is third in offering amendments on House floor after Jeff Flake and Sheila jackson-Lee. You can’t always pass a bill but he has highest percentage of success in getting amendments passed.

      Mowrer says Senator Flake [of Arizona] has asked King to stop claiming that, because it’s not true. “

  5. jon jensen says:

    If they are successful how will the hospital pay for indigent health care and not go bankrupt? The state legislature should have a plan other then don’t get sick in arizona if you don’t have money.