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Updated Mar 20, 2013 - 7:00 am

Arizona House to hold 1st Medicaid expansion hearing

PHOENIX -- A proposal by Gov. Jan Brewer to expand the state's Medicaid plan under provisions of the federal health care overhaul gets it first legislative hearing Wednesday.

The House Appropriations Committee will hear a report from legislative budget staff on its fiscal impact and then take testimony.

Appropriations chairman Rep. John Kavanagh said he also had planned to hear from the head of the state's Medicaid program, the Goldwater Institute and medical groups. Goldwater opposes the move and medical groups are generally supportive.

But Kavanagh said a "tsunami" of speaking requests by expansion proponents forced him to ditch all but the staff presentation and the public comment part.

Expanding the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (access) is one of Brewer's top priorities but is opposed by many fellow Republicans.

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