Thursday, December 9, 2010

First Bill of 2011 filed to restore transplant coverage

STATE CAPITOL, Phoenix – The first bill of the session was filed moments ago to restore AHCCCS transplant coverage and save the lives of Arizonans who were denied transplants by Republican budget cuts to health care.

“It has been over two months since Republican cuts to transplant coverage took effect and people are suffering,” said Schapira. “Instead of fixing the problem which only costs $1.2 million, Gov. Brewer is acting as a one-person death panel, trying to shift the blame from herself to the federal government. She has the resources to restore coverage, but chooses to let people who are dying become more ill each day. This legislation reinstates the transplant coverage, which is clearly not optional for people waiting for a transplant in order to live.”

Today, the Arizona Republic’s Editorial Board called for Brewer to stop holding transplant patients hostage. Democrats in the Legislature agree.

Without a life-saving transplant, patients like Francisco Felix, who desperately needs a new liver, will only have months to live, and Tiffany Tate will have to breathe with only 25 percent of her lung capacity. More patients are coming forward each day asking for a chance to live. There are 97 patients who are depending on Brewer and legislative Republicans to join Democratic lawmakers and make the right decision to restore coverage.

The legislation is Senate Bill 1001. The legislative session begins January 10, but Senate Democrats are hopeful the issue will be dealt with earlier.

The legislation is posted here:
http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/50leg/1r/bills/sb1001p.htm

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