Published: Apr 01, 2011 7:18 PM EDT
Updated: Apr 01, 2011 4:18 PM EDT

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona's cash-strapped Medicaid program is considering adding a $50 tax on single patients who smoke, have diabetes or are overweight.
    
Arizona Health Care Cost Containment program spokeswoman Monica Coury says the tax is intended to push patients to take better care of themselves.
    
Coury says the issue is getting at the cost of health care while trying to stretch dollars and get people to take better care.
    
One part of the proposal affects those with diabetes. Coury says patients with diabetes who fail to follow their doctor's orders to lose weight would be subjected to the $50 tax.
    
State Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Phoenix says it isn't fair to charge diabetics $50. Sinema says the fee fines people who may have medical conditions beyond their control.