In November 2010, the voters of Arizona voted for Prop 106, the Arizona Health Insurance Reform Amendment, which was a legislatively-referred Constitutional Amendment that passed by 55.3% of the voters.
The proposition prohibits the enactment of laws or rules that require any person, employer or health care provider to participate in any health care system. It specifically allows health care providers to accept direct payment and allows private health insurance.
It is also true that the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) cannot force any state to expand its Medicaid system to include people who earn from 100% to 133% of the poverty rate.
Arizona went through the disastrous expansion of Medicaid coverage when promised the cost would be paid by the Tobacco Settlement. When revenue proved inadequate, Arizona had to pick up the costs and the state ran up a $3 BILLION deficit before the legislature could get it under control. Childless individuals were taken off the Medicaid rolls. That combined with the temporary 1% sales tax, restored money that was cut from the schools to balance the budget.
The waiver AZ received from the federal government to cut childless people out of Medicaid, when we did not have a surplus, expires in 2014.
Gov. Brewer wants to again expand Medicaid even further. Yes, the Federal Government promises to pay the cost for new people into Medicaid, (About 57,000 people) but soon that will drop to a 90% match, then to 80% match. This federal money is not some big free pot of money. It will be taken from people who would otherwise expand their businesses, create jobs, and grow the economy.
Governor Brewer believes she can write an automatic trigger to push the “new people” out of Medicaid when the federal reimbursement begins to drop.
The reimbursements to doctors from ACCCHS (Arizona’s Medicaid) are so low (about 56% of what private insurance pays) that you will almost never see a doctor. You will be treated by physicians’ assistants and nurses. If you are over 50, the Independent Payment Advisory Board will decide if you are even to be admitted.
There are people who will make money off ACCCHS (Medicaid) and those are the one or two big insurance companies who will be permitted in the “exchanges” to write insurance. Big hospitals and big pharmaceutical companies will also get rich as well as the Medicaid administrator. Federal law requires states to pay managed care contractors, BUT NOT “PROVIDERS” (i.e. doctors) at “actuarially sound” rates.
Furthermore, the Enrollee Hold Harmless Clause provides the managed care entity with bankruptcy protection so it can do the work of denying care with impunity. Thus, managed care can cash in on the bonanza with little down side risk.
Nationwide, the 60 million people on Medicaid consume on average 23.5% of state budgets. For many states that exceeds the K-12 budget. In Massachusetts, where RomneyCare has been in place since 2006, it consumes 45% of the budget. Why would cost increases be less for Arizona?
Governor Brewer, we DON’T want to expand Medicaid.
Americans should be looking at ways that reduce the cost of medical treatment. It has been proven many times that when people are spending their own money they are frugal shoppers. Just as car insurance cost would “go thru the roof” if it paid for oil changes, wiper blades and new tires- the same is true of health insurance that covers everything. Conservatives advocate a catastrophic policy (coverage for serious illness) combined with a Health Savings Account where individuals pay for routine stuff- then health insurance increases would be no more than normal inflation.
The Governor sees a $300 million cost savings for this year if Medicaid is expanded, but what happens when the federal reimbursement decreases?
Lefties want government to control every aspect of your life. Constitutionalists believe individuals will make better decisions for themselves. No Utopian scheme has ever worked. Not Fascism, not Communism, not Socialism not a bloated government workforce, not crony-capitalism and not compounding debt. Only true, competitive Capitalism gets an economy growing.
Message from Pima County Republican Chair.