A lawsuit challenging Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s Medicaid expansion plan that was filed by fellow Republicans in the state Legislature was dismissed in a ruling released Saturday, handing Brewer a major victory in her battle against conservative members of her own party.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper agreed with Brewer that the lawmakers challenging the law don’t have the right to sue, saying their argument was incorrect that a hospital assessment included in House Bill 2010 that passed in June was, in fact, a tax that required a supermajority vote of the Legislature under Arizona’s Constitution.
Cooper’s ruling, dated Friday, said it is the Legislature itself that determines if a two-thirds vote is required under a voter-approved constitutional amendment called Proposition 108.
A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers Brewer assembled to support her plan voted not to impose that requirement on the law, which expanded the state’s health insurance program for the poor, known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or AHCCCS, and imposed the hospital assessment.
“In short, Plaintiffs are a minority group within the Legislature who lost a battle over H.B. 2010. They do not claim a concrete, individual injury. Rather, they seek to overturn the vote of the House and Senate. The Legislature as a whole did not authorize them to bring this action,” Cooper wrote.
Brewer spokesman Andrew Wilder called the court ruling “a huge victory.”0