The impact of Proposition 204 on Arizona's Medicaid program was the most significant issue for non-TANF social welfare programs when we interviewed state officials. The citizen initiative expanded Medicaid eligibility from 36 percent of the 1992 federal poverty level to 100 percent of the current federal poverty level, and allocated tobacco settlement money to support the newly eligible population, although these funds have not covered all non-federal costs and state general fund dollars have been used. Shortly after passage of the ballot measure, the legislature shifted responsibility for determining eligibility for many of Arizona's healthcare programs from the counties to the state Department of Economic Security.
OSPB and JLBC projections suggest that Proposition 204 will increase enrollment in the state's Medicaid program by approximately 188,300 to 211,400 individuals by SFY 2004, and will cost over $1.1 billion in federal and state funding. The state general fund will support approximately $187 to $195 million of the increased costs. Critics of Proposition 204 suggest that the increased costs associated with the ballot measure, make services that are not voter protected more vulnerable to budget cuts, especially in an economic downturn.
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