An Arizona Senate battle over expanding Medicaid revealed a fractured Republican majority that is likely to be exposed next in the House of Representatives.
Thursday's daylong Senate fight pitted conservative Republican senators against five GOP moderates and all 13 Senate Democrats. Together they voted to adopt a signature part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul that will extend coverage to 300,000 more poor Arizonans. The Medicaid expansion is Gov. Jan Brewer's top priority this session.
The fight exposed an embittered and openly angry group of Republican opponents who felt betrayed.
The $8.8 billion state spending plan that includes Medicaid expansion now moves to the House.
Republican House Speaker Andy Tobin faces a similar dynamic starting next week. GOP moderates appear likely to join 24 Democrats who support Brewer's plan.
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