Arizona high court to rule on Medicaid expansion

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Supreme Court plans to issue a ruling on the legality of a hospital assessment that is key to funding Gov. Jan Brewer's Medicaid expansion plan.

The high court will release its ruling Wednesday, just five days before Brewer leaves office.

Republican lawmakers who opposed Brewer's 2013 Medicaid expansion plan argue that the hospital assessment is a tax that required a two-thirds vote. Brewer put together a coalition of Democrats and a handful of Republicans to pass the measure with a bare majority.

A Superior Court judge ruled that the Legislature couldn't sue, but the state court of appeals disagreed in April.

If the Supreme Court doesn't overturn the appeals court ruling more than 250,000 poor Arizonans could lose coverage they gained this year.