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Arizona Medicaid Initiative (2010)

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The Arizona Medicaid Initiative did not appear on the November 2, 2010 in the state of Arizona as a citizen initiative. The proposed measure was being developed by proponents, and must have obtained 153,265 signatures from registered voters in the state by July 1, 2010 in order for it to appear on the ballot in the fall. However, signatures were not filed by the deadline, according to the Arizona Secretary of State's office.

The measure, spearheaded by the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, would have prohibited the state from cutting approximately 310,000 people from the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. The system would have acted as the state's Medicaid program. The measure would have also asked voters to raise their taxes in order to keep people from being cut, however, the exact specifics of the levy, and how it would have been used, had not yet been determined. The measure was proposed due to the cuts being included in the state's budget plan.[1][2]

The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association and other hospitals had planned to poll voters in order to assess if voters would be open to raising soda, beer, wine and liquor taxes in order for the Medicaid program to be unaffected by the proposed budget cuts.[3]

Opposition

Mike Gardner, executive of the Arizona Beverage Association, stated about the measure, "We oppose any effort that would further burden the hard-working citizens of this state with new taxes on their groceries, including juice drinks and soda. At a time when Arizonans are struggling through a tough economy with record unemployment rates, this tax will threaten the over 3,000 well-paying beverage industry jobs in Arizona."[3]

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