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2:33 AM Tue, Dec. 11th

Mohave County GOP joins censure effort over Medicaid vote

KINGMAN - The Mohave County Republican Central Committee has joined five other county Republican committees in censuring Gov. Jan Brewer and 15 state legislators, including local Rep. Doris Goodale, over their support to expand the state's Medicaid program.

The MCRCC approved a resolution earlier this month censuring the elected officials for allegedly "form(ing) an alliance with Democratic elected officials for the express purpose of thwarting the will of the Republican majority in the Legislature and violating Republican Party principles and the Republican Party platform."

"I don't really know what they can do to us," said Goodale, R-Kingman. "I had a different view on the healthcare proposal and that's why I supported it.

"I know the value of our rural hospitals. Several of those hospitals are on the brink because of the amount of uncompensated care they must give to some patients."

If the Legislature hadn't done something, those hospitals would have been forced to close, eliminating the positions of more than 20,000 nurses, doctors and employees, Goodale said.

"Is this helpful?" she asked.

Goodale also pointed out that two tax experts from the Arizona Tax Relief Association, an organization that usually fights new taxes, had supported the hospital tax and the expansion of AHCCCS.

Goodale admitted that she supported freezing healthcare coverage for more than 300,000 childless adults in 2008, but that was because the state didn't have the money to support them. Now, the state has an offer of help from the federal government.

"The economy is still in the tank," she said. "How can you say to someone making less than $15,000 a year and just started chemotherapy, or a senior, or a person with mental health issues, that on Dec. 31 you're off (AHCCCS), so sorry, you figure out how to pay for your own medications and treatments?"

"I did a lot of thinking before I made my decision," Goodale said. "But you have to take the phobias and fears out of an argument and look at the facts."

The MCRCC resolution also accuses the 15 legislators of:

• "Invit(ing) 300,000 new people into the welfare system" by approving the expansion of AHCCCS.

• Removing government oversight of special interests.

• Corrupting and stymieing the legislative process and dishonoring legislative traditions by suspending the rules in order to push through the expansion of AHCCCS.