The following statement is attributed to Speaker Adams and President Burns:
“As a state, we have gone to great lengths to balance a historic budget deficit. The federal health care mandate effectively cancels that out and creates a recipe for fiscal disaster – no thanks to Arizona’s congressional Democrats who voted for this misguided bill. Their votes have unraveled the meaningful budget solutions that took so much effort and hard work these past 14 months.
Arizona has had to make extremely difficult decisions in an effort to manage an enormous budget deficit. This mandate will immediately add another $400 million to our deficit in FY 2011. This is on top of a structural deficit as high as $2 billion.
Moreover, for the past six years Arizona has gone above and beyond federal Medicaid requirements and is now being punished by the federal government for having an expanded Medicaid program.
Under the new law, 44 other states are getting better treatment and the funds necessary from the federal government to cover the same populations that Arizona has been covering since 2000.
Without help from Congress, the federal government will have essentially taken over our budget process, forcing us to raise taxes and cut spending and programs even further, which may include education and public safety.
It’s our hope that Washington, D.C. will look at Arizona’s dire fiscal situation created by the federal health care legislation and help resolve it. In the meantime, we will examine all options, including joining with other states in legal action to halt the federal health care law.”