Guest Blogger: Nicole Olmstead, Arizona Government Relations Director
The 2013 Arizona Legislative Session ended in the early morning hours of June 14, 2013 after a very long 5 months. During that time, the legislature tackled issues ranging from tax reform to Medicaid Reform. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association was lucky enough to have a seat at the table to assist in passing Medicaid reform. Now, instead of over 63,000 people losing health coverage through the state run program on January 1, 2014, they will maintain their coverage and an additional 300,000 childless adults in Arizona will be eligible for coverage. The AHA/ASA worked with volunteers and partner organizations to meet with key legislators, send out grassroots alerts and rally support for Governor Brewer’s brave and innovative plan. The bill passed with bipartisan support in both the Arizona House and Arizona Senate. The icing on the cake was being invited to attend the signing of the bill. Arizona truly made history on June 17, 2013 when Governor Brewer signed the Medicaid expansion into law and became only the 2nd state with a Republican held legislature and Republican Governor to pass this key component of the Affordable Healthcare Act. Way to go, Arizona!