Brewer says Medicaid not part of federal law

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BOB CHRISTIE and CRISTINA SILVA
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PHOENIX (AP) — Gov. Jan Brewer says her Medicaid expansion plan that has divided Arizona Republicans is a minor part of the federal health care law she once fought in court.

Brewer said Thursday that she was celebrating a "sweet victory" after the Arizona Legislature passed her proposed $8.8 billion budget and Medicaid expansion proposal two days after she ordered them into a special session.

Brewer says the plan that will expand Medicaid to 300,000 more low-income Arizonans makes fiscal sense.

The conservatives who traditionally control the Legislature opposed the proposal, but were outvoted by moderate Republicans and all Democrats.

The Medicaid expansion is optional under last year's Supreme Court decision upholding the federal health care law. Many Republican governors rejected it.

About 1.3 million Arizonans already are covered by the state's plan.