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Arizona House passes bill limiting Medicaid to 5 years

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the Medicaid Restoration Act in June 2013. (Twitter Photo/@GovBrewer)

PHOENIX -- The Arizona House has approved a proposal by Republican Speaker Andy Tobin that would force Medicaid recipients to get a job and limit their insurance to a maximum of five years.

The bill passed on a 35-22 party-line vote Thursday requires the state's Medicaid program to apply for a waiver from federal regulators to impose the new rules.

Federal officials have said the proposals are unlikely to be approved.

But Tobin said that could change and the requirements give the state tools to cut enrollment if the federal government failed to fund the program as promised.

Democratic Rep. Eric Meyer said Tobin's plan would eventually throw thousands of people off the state's program that Republican Gov. Jan Brewer fought to have included in last year's Medicaid expansion law.

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