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HHS says AZ doesn't need federal approval for huge Medicaid cuts

Arizona doesn't need federal approval to eliminate 250,000 people from its Medicaid rolls in order to continue to receive federal matching dollars, health officials said Tuesday. Lawmakers had sought to eliminate coverage for low-income Arizonans to help close a huge budget shortfall, but recently passed federal health reform mandates that states maintain their level of coverage. In a letter to Brewer today, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the state's entire program comes up for federal reauthorization Sept. 30, and Arizona could simply choose to stop covering the childless adults who Gov. Jan Brewer and legislative Republicans are seeking to drop from the rolls.

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