Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Senate Democrats call on Governor to take action

STATE CAPITOL, Phoenix – Mark Price, the first AHCCCS patient to come forward after he was denied a bone marrow transplant due to Republican budget cuts has died.

“We are heartbroken at the loss of Mark Price and offer our prayers and condolences to his family,” said incoming Senator Minority Leader David Schapira. “Unfortunately the clock has run out for Mr. Price, but the clock is still ticking for others in Arizona who are counting on the Governor to take action by restoring life-saving transplant funding.”

Yesterday, Governor Brewer called the AHCCCS program a “Cadillac Plan” and claimed federal stimulus dollars are already accounted for in designated places, but refuses to state where she spent the money.

“Gov. Brewer continues to make excuses for cutting a program that denies life-saving transplants, but has not offered any solutions to people who are seriously ill and in need of those transplants,” said incoming Senator Minority Leader David Schapira.

Senate Democrats call on Gov. Brewer to immediately act to deal with these dire circumstances. According to an NPR report on November 11, there are nearly 100 Arizona patients awaiting life-saving transplants who have been turned away because of the budget cuts made by Brewer and Republicans in the Legislature.

“In the time it will take for Gov. Brewer to light a Christmas tree and a Menorah in the State Capitol this week, she could have issued a solution,” said Senator Leah Landrum Taylor, incoming Senate Assistant Minority Leader. “The lack of urgency to fix the AHCCCS problem is horrifying. These are life and death situations, and people may literally die if the Republicans do not take immediate action to change the law or provide the resources for these life-saving services.”

The coverage of specific transplants and services was revoked in HB 2010: health; budget reconciliation; 2010-2011 in the Seventh Special Session. The specific references to transplants are on page 21. http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/7s/bills/hb2010h.pdf

In the final Senate vote, all Democrats voted against the bill. All Republicans voted for the bill, except for Sen. Jay Tibshraeny who voted no and Sen. Carolyn Allen, who did not vote. http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/49leg/7s/bills/hb2010.sthird.1.asp

All House Democrats voted against the bill and all Republicans voted for it except for Rep. Doug Quelland. http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/49leg/7s/bills/hb2010.hthird.1.asp

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