The Washington Times - January 17, 2013, 01:54PM

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer made waves this week by announcing plans to accept federal funds to help expand Medicaid coverage in her state, even as she reiterated her deep concerns with President Obama’s controversial health care law.

So on Wednesday, she assembled more than a dozen health care CEOs and professionals for a public event designed to rally support for her decision.

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A press release from her office quotes 16 people who wanted to “commend,” “thank” or “strong applaud” Ms. Brewer for her “courageous” decision.

“My concerns about the Affordable Care Act are well-known, but it is the law of the land,” Ms. Brewer said, according to the release. “With this expansion, Arizona can leverage nearly $8 billion in federal funds over four years, save or protect thousands of quality jobs and protect our critical rural and safety-net hospitals.”

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld key provisions of Mr. Obama’s law, but left it up to governors and the states whether to expand Medicaid in their respective states. The option has received mixed reviews, with many Republicans worrying that state-level contributions to the program will grow over time and strain their budgets.

“Governor Brewer’s Medicaid plan will be accomplished at NO COST to the State General Fund,” her office said. “It also will include a critical safeguard that rolls back enrollment if federal reimbursement rates decrease.”