"I applaud the Arizona Board of Regents for pledging its full support of my Medicaid plan. Our state's higher education leaders are unified in recognizing, as I do, that this issue is critical to ensuring the long-term growth and prosperity of our premier public universities.
"Medicaid expansion will allow Arizona to draw down federal support to help pay for the growing costs of caring for the uninsured -- costs already being borne by the State, health providers such as the University of Arizona Health Network and Arizona families. Additionally, by using federal dollars to ease Medicaid pressure on the State budget, we can protect core State services such as higher education. Let's stop facing a false choice between supporting health care or education.
"While we move strategically to protect higher education, our university presidents and the Board of Regents must continue innovating. By fall of this year, I've asked Arizona's universities to come forward with plans that will spell out how they intend to expand our academic and research capacity while reducing the time it takes to bring ideas and technology to the marketplace. I am looking to our high education leaders for their blueprints to continue modernizing our universities so they are ready to play an even more critical role in Arizona's second century."