NRCC To Ann Kirkpatrick: Now It’s Your Turn to Apologize

NRCC

Time For Kirkpatrick To Apologize For Continued Support Of Failed Law

WASHINGTON – Last night, President Obama finally apologized for promising Americans could keep their insurance plans, if they liked them. But that’s not the only apology that is necessary. It’s time for Ann Kirkpatrick to apologize for continuing to support a law that is hurting Arizona families.

Because Kirkpatrick is blindly standing with Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi on ObamaCare, she is ensuring that Arizona families see higher premiums and may even lose their current insurance.

“Ann Kirkpatrick should join the president in apologizing for the disastrous effects of ObamaCare,” said NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek. “Her support of this failed law has cost Arizona families dearly and it’s time she apologized.”

Ann Kirkpatrick Voted Against Repealing ObamaCare. (H.R. 45, Roll Call Vote #154, 229-195, 5/16/13)

President Obama Apologized Yesterday For His Misleading Healthcare Promise. “President Barack Obama offered an apology Thursday to those Americans who have been told they’re losing their health insurance plans, contrary to his promise that no one would be forced off a plan they wanted to keep.” (Jennifer Epstein, “President Obama: ‘I Am Sorry’,” Politico, 11/7/13)

President Obama: “Obviously, We Didn’t Do A Good Enough Job In Terms Of How We Crafted The Law.” (YouTube.Com, Accessed On 11/8/13)

Americans for Prosperity Launches Ads Criticizing Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s ObamaCare Support

Americans for Prosperity launched a massive television and radio ad campaign today targeting Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick over her support of  Obamacare. The $450,000 ad buy will run on both broadcast and cable in the Phoenix market and will ask viewers to tell Kirkpatrick to “exempt them too” from Obamacare.

“‘Not perfect’ not good enough for Arizonans,” says director Jenney.

PHOENIX — Americans for Prosperity-Arizona is launching radio and television ads across Arizona’s first congressional district, criticizing Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick for supporting ObamaCare.

The television ad can be seen here and will run in the first district on broadcast and cable for three weeks. It also promotes the hashtag #ExemptMeToo, referring to the special treatment received by the well-connected.

Kirkpatrick voted to enact ObamaCare in 2009 and has since admitted the law is “not perfect.”

“”Not perfect’ is a tremendous understatement, and it’s not good enough for Arizonans who are facing higher premiums and fewer health care choices,” said AFP-Arizona State Director Tom Jenney. “These ads are allowing our activists to voice their frustration over legislation that is wreaking havoc on the economy, forcing reduced hours on many in our work force, and failing to deliver sensible health care solutions.”

AFP-Arizona has been traveling the state talking to activists about the problems inherent in ObamaCare on a tour called “Sick & Sicker: Preparing for ObamaCare” with stops including Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff. Americans for Prosperity has consistently opposed the legislation since its inception. Hundred of thousands of the group’s activists have already signed the Exempt Me, Too! petition at justexempt.me, asking for the same special treatment provided to Big Business, Congress and the well-connected.

Here is a copy of the ad:

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Arizona State Rep. Paul Boyer Questions Background of Obamacare Navigators

By Paul Boyer

Arizona currently has no safeguards to protect the most sensitive information of those Arizonans for whom, open enrollment for the Federal health exchange has already begun. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created a position of health “navigators” who will assist Arizonans in selecting insurance plans to enroll in health coverage in the new online portal. These navigators will have access to Arizonans’ social security numbers, tax information and medical history, yet we do not know if these navigators have a criminal background.

The federal government has offered to provide us with a list of names of those who work as navigators. While this is better than having no information, knowing navigators have successfully passed a criminal background check is crucial. With the assimilation of financial and health information, the stakes have never been higher that we pass this privacy protection act before individuals hand over their private information.

After all, do we really want our most sensitive information and that of our loved ones available for identity thieves without a simple protection such as a criminal background check? 23 states have already mandated background checks and Arizona should immediately do the same.

My proposal is simple. We should register and license any navigator who wants to work in Arizona through the Arizona Department of Insurance just like we already do with insurance agents. The Department ensures applicants successfully pass a criminal background check, and if this legislation passes, we will have more than just a name.

Since the exchange has gone live, the legislature should come back in a Special Session to pass this necessary legislation, as we do not want to give bad actors a window of opportunity to commit fraud. While it is always difficult to get the state legislature back to the Capitol outside of the regular legislative session, now is such a time.

I offered an amendment that would have accomplished the same goal during the last Special Session concerning Medicaid Expansion, however, my effort failed since expansion proponents received instructions to not support any unfriendly amendments. Since that is behind us, we should pass this privacy protection act now, meanwhile putting bad actors on notice they are not welcome here in Arizona.

Democrats and Republicans can agree the primary responsibility of government includes protecting its citizens. Since the federal government has not made criminal background checks a priority, it is my hope that I receive support for this protection from my colleagues in the House and Senate and we pass this privacy protection.

This is no disparagement on the Arizona Association of Community Health Centers, the Center for Rural Health, the Greater Phoenix Urban League and Campesinos Sin Fronteras, the four organizations who received navigator grants from the federal government to assist Arizonans in enrolling in the Health Insurance Marketplace. However, instead of assuming no navigator has a criminal background, let’s verify navigators have a clean record by mandating a criminal background check as these other states have already done.

As much as I would like it to be, this is not a referendum on Obamacare since that must occur at a federal level. Instead, this concerns Arizona and our willingness to prevent identity thieves from exploiting and abusing Arizonans who will do so without a minimum level of protection.

So let us join these many other states, including Mr. Obama’s home state of Illinois, and prevent identity thieves from easy access to Arizonans’ most sensitive information. Failure to act would be irresponsible on our part.

Republican state Rep. Paul Boyer, vice chairman of the House Health Committee and member of the House Appropriations Committee, represents parts of Glendale and north Phoenix in Legislative District 20. 

Dinner at Monti’s? It may require reservations now thanks to Obamacare

Reservations at Tempe’s dining landmark Monti’s?

That’s right, because it may be a little harder now.

Monti’s, the famed Tempe restaurant, is now cutting hours for employees because of ObamaCare.

Kyrsten Sinema ObamacareThe same law that Kyrsten Sinema helped craftcampaigned for, and voted to keep is hurting workers in her own district.

But this isn’t the first time that the law’s regulations have hit home for Sinema. Just a few weeks ago, ObamaCare caused her coworkers at ASU to see their hours cut.

When she supports laws that actively hurt those in the 9th district, Kyrsten Sinema proves that she’s just too big a risk for Arizona families.

According to Matt Gorman, spokesman for the NRCC, “The disastrous law that Kyrsten Sinema helped craft and campaign for is hurting workers right in her district. How can workers and families trust her to dismantle ObamaCare when she was its biggest cheerleader in the first place?”

Just another example of the unintended consequences of a devastatingly bad public policy.

 

OBrewercare Traitors Get Paid for Their Votes

Tonight, those traitorous Republicans in the Arizona state legislature who voted for Medicaid expansion are getting paid for their yes votes on OBrewercare by the hospital-industrial complex. The Governor is hosting a fundraiser for Sens. Steve Pierce, John McComishAdam Driggs, and  Bob Worsley, and Reps. Heather Carter, Kate McGee, Doug Coleman, Jeff Dial, Doris Goodale, Ethan Orr, Frank Pratt, Bob Robson, and T.J. Shope at the home of hospital CEO Reg Ballantyne. This is, quite clearly, a quid pro quo: they’re getting paid off for their yes votes to swell the rolls of Medicaid recipients at the cost of not only sick people (via a bed tax), but the American taxpayer as well (via increased Medicaid payments from the feds to Arizona, then to the hospitals). There is no other way to characterize this as anything but legal corruption.  The Governor, the legislators, consultants Chuck Coughlin and Peter Burns, and the hospital-industiral complex donors should all be going to prison for a very long time for corruption.

To fully illustrate that this is a quid pro quo, harken back to Loren Heal’s article on the subject on FreedomWorks.org‘s website on June 13 of this year. In that article, Heal stated that in August of 2012, a “consortium of the state’s hospitals, insurers, and left-wing groups” hired consultant Chuck Coughlin of High Ground and socialized medicine proponent and leftist Peter Burns to ensure that Medicaid expansion, a part of Obamacare, was passed in Arizona. Coughlin, who is the Governor’s puppeteer, told Brewer to push for expansion. As if Brewer were a ventriloquist’s dummy sitting on Coughlin’s lap, she parroted what Coughlin told her to say in her State of the State address in January 2013: expand Medicaid as Obamacare directs. According to beforeitsnews.com, Rep. Warren Petersen stated that Coughlin held a fundraiser to show legislators that if they voted for expanding Medicaid under Obamacare, the hospital-industrial complex could help raise money to give them immense campaign warchests for their re-election efforts. Well, enough traitorous Republicans took the bait, voted for OBrewercare, and tonight, they’re getting their payoff. While the invite, sent out by Rep. Heather Carter, suggests a $500 donation for each legislator, rumor has it that the hospital-industrial complex donors have to have $6,500 to get in the door ($500 for EACH)! That’s how they plan on rewarding each one of these traitors with at least $100K for their 2014 campaigns.

Follow the money, people. This is corporate cronyism at its worst. Hospitals have used the power of government to take money right out of your pocket to line their own pockets. The perpetrators should be punished severely, but they likely will not be. If the failure to put Obamacare on the ballot is any indication, you are not mad enough at these criminals and they will have the warchests necessary to keep their seats and the low-information masses will re-elect them. Until you get angry enough to change things, expect more of this in the future. Call these legislators. Shame them (granted, they are shameless since their actions are so brazen)…but you’ve GOT to do more than shame them: you’ve GOT to collect signatures for their opponents, DONATE to their opponents, talk to your neighbors about how corrupt these corporate cronies are, and VOTE against them AND get your NEIGHBORS to vote against them too. If you’re NOT THAT angry, you’re not paying attention.

Maricopa GOP Chair Rallies LD Censures

To all Arizona County and LD Republican Committee Chairmen -
Below is the front page article of the July 15 Arizona Capitol Times. I want to express my appreciation to those courageous and principled County and LD Republican Committees who have already conducted votes of “censure” and/or “no confidence.”
Jan Brewer, the legislators and their crony capitalist friends that support ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion have betrayed Americans, Arizona Republicans and the Republican Party Platform.  Their lack of ethics, integrity and egregious acts are motivated by only two things – greed and the lust for power – at the expense of hard working tax paying Americans.
The law was expected to cost $898 billion over the first decade when the bill was first passed, but this year the Congressional Budget Office revised that estimate to $1.85 trillion.  Money that will have to be borrowed from the Chinese or printed in the backroom of the Federal Reserve.  Latest polls indicate a majority of Americans are opposed to ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion with an overwhelming majority of Republicans in opposition.
During the past six months, we did everything we could to make a solid argument against ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion, we tried to reason with these people and even tried to make them see the light.  Unfortunately, our lobbying efforts fell on deaf ears and without success.
During one of Ronald Reagan’s difficult political battles he said,
               ”When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”
I’m asking all the County and LD Republican Committees to make these people feel the heat by passing public censures for their actions.  They are elitists who think what they have done should be forgiven. They are mistaken.  We are not going to be able to defeat all of them, but we can defeat a majority of them in the 2014 Primary Election.
You can go to “MCRC Briefs” and get examples of public censures that have already been passed.  http://briefs.maricopagop.org/  Just type “censure” in the search field on the left.
Warmest regards,
 A. J. LaFaro
Chairman, Maricopa County Republican Committee
P.S.  Please encourage all of your PCs to keep up their daily efforts in getting petition signatures for www.urapc.org  Getting ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion on the November 2014 ballot will be historic for Arizona’s grassroots conservatives.

The Alliance of Principled Conservatives Stands for Founding Principles


In 1776 the British monarchy hired the Hessian mercenaries to terrorize the colonists in the New World. Ideas like “freedom” and “representation” were considered extreme and radical.

Today in Arizona we face a Governor willing to bypass the checks and balances put in place by our Founding Fathers. A Governor who purposely uses special privileges as a weapon against elected legislators. A Governor who is willing to subvert the spirit of the constitution, call a special session and suspend the rules just to force the largest socialistic takeover in U.S. history – the Obamacare/Medicaid Expansion – upon the people she was elected to serve.

She trampled on our rights. She took away our right to fair representation.  The end result of her actions will eventually lead to the full implementation of Obamacare which will force Arizonans to buy taxed tea ..oops.. I mean Federal health insurance.

Our Government is trampling on our freedoms at the National and State level.

The United Republican Alliance of Principled Conservatives is also labeled “extreme” and “fringe.” URAPC has risen up with pens and clipboards in hand to stop Obamacare using volunteer grassroots Arizonans. So the Governor’s Team forms an opposing committee that throws around outrageous accusations that if URAPC is   “successful, there are a lot of people who are going to get harmed” and then threatening “we’re going to be as aggressive as possible to get out to the public.” 

  • They cannot win on the issues.
  • They cannot get a bill passed without suspending the rules, and threatening to remove the President and Speaker.
  • Now they are “aggressively” misleading a.k.a. lying to people to stop us from gathering signatures.

In spite of a well funded $150,000 campaign to stop the gathering of signatures the Alliance of volunteer Republican Principled Conservatives grows. 

Swelling the ranks are activists who have been discouraged by the lack of conviction, the lack of pride in the basic Republican tenets of limited government and individual responsibility, and the courage to stand and say “that is wrong get out of the tent.”

URAPC is committed to maintaining the deep individualist spirit of Arizona and restoring freedom from an obtrusive government by leading the way to Veto Governor Brewer’s Medicaid Expansion.

Join us today and fill out a petition today!

www.urapc.org

Rep. Paul Boyer: Budget Process Was Not “Democracy In Action”

As a legislative liaison for an agency of the executive branch, I witnessed numerous budgets from their initial framework through the finished product, including negotiations and committee hearings. I was also a House majority staffer, where I helped outline and communicate several state budgets. It was shocking and frustrating to have my first budget as a state legislator be the least transparent in recent memory.

It is unprecedented for the Legislature to pass a budget without an Appropriations Committee hearing and public input. That happened here. It is also unprecedented for a sponsor to refuse to answer a single question on budget bills in his or her name. That happened here.

Further, our Committee of the Whole, which includes all members, gathers to debate and shape bills. That did not happen here. In our case, the only debate that mattered convened behind closed doors with the governor and a handful of lawmakers who made a deal to pass the governor’s Medicaid expansion.

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The Gov. Jan Brewer’s legislative cadre consists of 24 Democrats and nine Republicans in the House. They passed what is arguably the largest federal takeover of Arizona’s economy in state history with her Medicaid-expansion plan. They accomplished this through suspending House rules, refusing to answer questions and prohibiting public testimony.

We repeatedly asked the budget sponsor, Rep. Frank Pratt, R-Casa Grande, to answer questions on the 654 pages of budget bills and amendments in his name. He refused to answer a single question, later saying he wanted to keep the budget process as short as possible.

The governor’s spokesman had the audacity to call these actions “democracy in action.” It’s unnerving to suggest suspending the rules, refusing public input, pushing a budget through without an Appropriations Committee hearing, passing amendments with no time to read them and refusing to answer questions, democracy in action.

Supporters argue this violation of the process was acceptable because they believe the Medicaid expansion is good policy. Regardless, we should always respect the process. We have three branches of government, not two.

While the legislative and executive branches may not always agree, it is critical we have mutual respect and honor the integrity of the process. That did not happen here.

The public still needs to know what impact this budget and massive government expansion will have on our economy.

Does this budget spend more than we bring in? For example, the governor said her budget spends $15 million less over three years than the conservative House budget. However, she does not include her hospital bed tax in this equation and actually counts that against new spending, which is actually $286 million higher than our budget.

If the state Capitol is truly the people’s house, then the people have a right to know what the Legislature is proposing before we pass it.

Arizonans sent us here to discuss and debate what we pass publicly so all Arizonans know how the Legislature is spending their tax dollars.

And that wasn’t all of it. The Governor’s legislative caucus was ready to push out her Medicaid expansion and her budget in one day until the Rules attorney told them couldn’t without 2/3rds (40 Members), an Arizona Constitutional requirement and they only had 33 votes.

They were also prepared to remove the Speaker and the President if Leadership didn’t do what they wanted. One freshman legislator was quoted as saying they would remove Speaker Tobin if “he didn’t play nice,” when the entire time we all knew they had a vehicle to get Medicaid expansion up to the Governor (SB 1057) and we just put our conservative House budget on the Appropriations agenda for that Thursday. Given they had 33 votes, they could’ve easily added whatever they wanted to what we passed out of Appropriations, i.e. none of this was necessary. They still could have pushed for everything they wanted without violating the process and giving Arizonans a chance to weigh in and know exactly what they were passing. Most of the Governor’s legislative caucus didn’t even know what they voted for.

Not to mention President Andy Biggs found out about the Special Session from a reporter as he was driving home. I was with House Leadership when we found out about the Special Session that began at 5pm on Tuesday after it had already begun.

Representative Justin Olson from his floor testimony was correct. The Governor and her legislative cadre have promised entitlements we will never be able to pay for. And the core, necessary services government is obligated to provide will suffer as a result, along with every other legislative priority.

~~~

Republican State Representative Paul Boyer, represents Legislative District 20, which covers parts of Phoenix and Glendale. He is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

State Representative Adam Kwasman fights against Obamacare Medicaid Expansion in Arizona

Thank you State Representative Adam Kwasman for standing up to Obamacare and Governor Brewer and for conservative principles and the rule of process in the Arizona Legislature!

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Washington Examiner: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer rams through Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion

Reposted from the Washington Examiner for all the blind followers or corporate cronyists of Governor Brewer.

By Philip Klein
Senior Editorial Writer

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, working with Democrats against members of her own party, rammed through a vast expansion of the Medicaid program under Obamacare through the state legislature, putting federal taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars in health care spending.

Despite claiming to oppose President Obama’s health care law, Brewer embraced one of the law’s most expensive provisions — a Medicaid expansion — in January, under the influence of lobbying from the hospital industry.

Brewer then spent the past several months trying to coax reluctant members of her own party to back the measure. When that failed, she called a special session of the state legislature, and formed an alliance with Democrats to ram the bill through the state House at 3:40 am this morning.

As a result of the lawsuit that Arizona was a part of, the Supreme Court ruled that states must be given the option of whether or not to accept the expansion of Medicaid that was part of the health care law. It is expected to pass through the senate.

(keep reading)

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Rep Warren Petersen: Why Conservatives Oppose Expansion of Obamacare

Warren PetersenThe battle over the Arizona expansion of Obamacare resembles the fight between David and Goliath. The pro-expansion team has millions of dollars, powerful lobbyists, support from all Democratic legislators, most if not all of the media and a few Republicans who have defected to their cause.

You’ve probably heard radio ads, watched commercials on ESPN or received a full page glossy mailer promoting their “conservative plan.” The only problem is that conservative legislators do not support it.

Here are a few reasons why.

We don’t fall for optical illusions. When the pro-expansion team bused in 300 people to their last rally, we knew that their support was a charade. When they say 63,000 people will lose coverage, we knew that it was not true. Those currently on Medicaid will still have coverage with or without the expansion. Even if it was true, they could get insurance from exchanges with any minimum wage job. We know that it is money and not compassion that is driving this train. A train that Harry Reid (U.S. Senate majority leader) said will wreck without the appropriation of more federal funds.

We stick to the facts and know that the budget put forth by Arizona Senate President Andy Biggs will not drain the rainy day fund or kick people off Medicaid. It does, however, include a request to renew our federal waiver. The pro-expansion team has said the waiver has been denied when, in reality, it has not. Cutting and pasting a web FAQ directed to 50 states is not the same as formally submitting your plan and receiving a denial letter. Ironically, this is the same argument the Democrats made when we last requested a waiver. They said we couldn’t get it, but we did. Will they deny that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled you can’t coerce people into expansion?

Another fact is that expansion doesn’t deal with health care of poor children. We are talking about a select group of adults of whom many have incomes above the poverty level. We are not talking about disabled people who cannot work. They have and will continue to have Medicaid coverage.

We have learned from history that we can afford to wait a year with or without the waiver as Arizona was the last state to implement Medicaid. We waited about 20 years and now it consumes one of every four dollars we spend. Obamacare is going to implode, which even the pro-expansion team admits. When it does, the expansion will go with it. It would be foolish to add onto something that is unraveling prior to implementation.

We know the numbers don’t add up. Conservatives don’t raise taxes on hospitals as a gimmick to draw down federal funds and they don’t put hundreds of thousands of people on a welfare program that will cost billions. Billions will be added to the national debt of which some will be used to fund abortions. Fortunately, half of the states have now refused the expansion. They took advantage of this rare opportunity to cut federal spending.

We believe in the American dream, which depends on every able bodied American to contribute and work. As mentioned before, a minimum wage job qualifies a person for health care exchange coverage. This will increase wealth and allow further contributions to society. Ours is a society that has been the most prosperous in the world because it promises that people can keep what they earn. Nations that guarantee benefits others have earned fail. Conservatives understand that and know that expansion is nothing more than massive growth of the welfare state and a direct threat to our long-term economic health.

Warren Petersen serves the citizens of Legislative District 12. He and his wife and children reside in the Town of Gilbert. For more information, visit his Facebook page.

The “People’s Veto” – Stop Obrewercare in Arizona.

Additional information is available at: www.urapc.org

On Tuesday former Arizona State Senators Frank Antenori and Ron Gould formed a committee named “The United Republican Alliance of Principled Conservatives,” or URAPC. The committee was formed for the purpose of stopping Obamacare and its associated Tax on hospital stays. Defeating Governor Brewer’s ill conceived and unconstitutional legislation must be referred to the ballot so it can be vetoed by the people of Arizona.

The Republican Precinct Committeemen of Arizona, united in their effort overwhelmingly passed resolutions opposing the Governors proposed expansion of Medicaid (AHCCS), a key component of Obamacare stating:
“The Voters of Arizona clearly expressed their will to reject implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) when they voted to amend the Arizona Constitution via Proposition 106 in 2010. The State of Arizona cannot afford to be saddled with the costs of implementing this federal program, AND the People of Arizona do not support Obamacare, assisting in the implementation of Obamacare, or subsidizing the Federal Government’s implementation Obamacare with State funds.” The PC resolutions continued to explicitly reject hidden tax increases and new entitlement programs.

Upon hearing of these resolutions, Governor Brewer openly mocked and ridiculed precinct committeemen, small businessmen, and the hard working taxpayers that voiced opposition to her efforts. As a result, they have formed an alliance to thwart the axis of Corporate welfare recipients, greedy lobbyists, and rogue Republican legislators, led by the Governor.

The alliance true to the independent spirit of Arizonans is motivated and committed to having their voices heard by collecting the required signatures to send this critical decision to the voters of Arizona.

Friday Poll: Do You Support/Oppose Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion in Arizona?

In case you missed it, the Arizona Executive and Legislative branches are embroiled in a battle over expanding Obamacare’s Medicaid program in Arizona. Here is the latest Friday poll gauging our reader’s position on this issue. Votes are scheduled in the Arizona House next week.

NFIB Poll: Small Business Strongly Opposes Expanding Medicaid

NFIBforwebSurvey reveals Arizona entrepreneurs’ deep skepticism of federal funding promises

PHOENIX, Ariz., May 14, 2013 — In a poll released today by their leading association, small-business owners overwhelmingly oppose the high-stakes effort at the Arizona State Capitol to expand Medicaid coverage to all Arizonans at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level as envisioned by the federal healthcare law.

The recent survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB/Arizona) found 79 percent of Arizona small-business owners opposed to the proposed eligibility expansion for the state’s Medicaid program, also known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System or AHCCCS.

Eighteen percent support the Medicaid expansion proposal with less than 3 percent saying they are undecided.

NFIB Medicaid Poll ResultsThe controversial Medicaid proposal, a centerpiece of Gov. Jan Brewer’s legislative agenda, is principally backed by hospital systems and opposed by key legislative leaders like Senate President Andy Biggs and conservative activists.

The political impasse over Medicaid expansion has stalled the Legislature’s work on the state budget for the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1, 2013.

“Small businesses in Arizona clearly feel they are under siege by the Obamacare law, with its harsh employer mandates, new taxes and pervasive uncertainty,” said Farrell Quinlan, the Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business. “Our survey found that Arizona’s small-business owners continue to strongly oppose expanding AHCCCS eligibility, because they have no faith in the federal government’s promises to pay for adding hundreds-of-thousands of Arizonans to our Medicaid rolls. Our small-business owners know Washington is more than $16 trillion in debt and Congress will be under increasing pressure to cut the biggest drivers of federal spending – entitlements like Medicaid.”

NFIB/Arizona’s May survey on Medicaid expansion reaffirms small business’ sentiments against expanding Medicaid found in a prior survey conducted before Governor Brewer announced her support for the policy change during her State of the State Address in January.

NFIB Medicaid Poll Results 1/13 and 5/13

In that poll, 77 percent opposed the expansion with 13 percent favoring it and 10 undecided.

“It’s instructive that after months of intense promotion and expensive radio and television advertising campaigns, pro-expansion forces have utterly failed to move the support needle with Arizona small business owners,” said Quinlan. “The public’s attitudes have clearly hardened on Obamacare and the fundamental transformation of health care occurring in the United States.”

Respondents to NFIB/Arizona’s survey were also given the opportunity to provide an open-ended answer on the Medicaid expansion issue and implementation of Obamacare in general. The majority viewpoint is best summarized by one respondent’s declaration: “Arizona won’t be able to afford AHCCCS expansion when Washington realizes America can’t afford Obamacare.” Another opponent expressed his profound ambivalence over the decision before Arizona lawmakers: “Either choice is going to be tough and expensive, but to trust the federal government is a mistake. I do not feel that they will make good on their promise to cover the expenses.”

A Medicaid-expansion supporter wrote: “As I understand it, the expansion goes away if/when the federal money goes away. That is the only reason I am supporting it now. When Obama doesn’t want to pay for it anymore, neither should Arizonans.” Another supporter exclaimed: “Believe we are trapped. If O C [Obamacare] stays this seems like the only way to go. But we must have the 90 percent funding from the Feds.”

The latest poll was conducted May 6 to May 13, 2013, as an online and fax-returned survey with 375 Arizona small-business owners responding. The prior poll mentioned above was conducted November 9, 2012 to January 4, 2013 consisting of 449 Arizona small business owners responding. Both polls tested the same question though the set-up explanations of what proponents and opponents say about the policy proposal were updated and expanded in the latest survey. The online version of the May survey can be viewed here.

NFIB routinely surveys its members to determine the organization’s public policy position on issues at the federal and state levels. Due to the overwhelming and consistent results of the two surveys, the upcoming votes by the Arizona Senate and Arizona House of Representatives on Medicaid expansion have been identified as ‘key votes’ eligible to be used on NFIB/Arizona’s legislative score card for the 2013 session.

Commemorating its 70th anniversary, the National Federation of Independent Business is the nation’s leading small-business association with 350,000 members nationwide and 7,500 in Arizona. NFIB has offices in Washington, D.C., and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small- and independent-business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists sends its views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available at www.NFIB.com/newsroom.

Medicaid Expansion: Been There, Done That

AFP Arizona

To all Arizona taxpayers and health care consumers:

When it comes to the fiscal costs and human damage of expanding Medicaid/AHCCCS under ObamaCare, we know that things will turn out badly.  How do we know?  Because we’ve been there, and we’ve done that.  Here is what past experience, here in Arizona and elsewhere, tells us about the proposed expansion:

1)   The Medicaid expansion will cost much more than projected.
2)  The expansion may do nothing to help low-income Arizonans — and could hurt them.
3)  The so-called “hidden health tax” won’t get fixed.
4)  Arizona must bargain hard to get a better deal.
5)  The disgusting ploy to gut Prop 108 taxpayer protections will lead to more tax hikes.

You can read more about each of those items below, and TAKE ACTION HERE.  And click onthis link for info about the health care freedom protest at the Arizona Capitol on May 15.

1)  The Medicaid expansion will cost much more than projected.

None of the promised fiscal results of Arizona’s last Medicaid/AHCCCS expansion (enacted by voters through Prop 204 in 2000) actually materialized.  Prop 204 backers promised that the AHCCCS expansion would save money in the state budget.  The Joint Legislative Budget Committee was somewhat wiser, knowing that the expansion would cost the state money.  The committee projected that covering the Prop 204 population would cost $389 million in 2008.  But the actual cost was $1.623 billion — four times as expensive as projected!

And of course, the projected $2 billion in federal matching funds is not “free.” Certainly not for federal taxpayers — including millions of Arizonans.  According to the Goldwater Institute’sChristina Corieri, if Arizona and 11 other fence-sitter States join the 18 States that have already said No to the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion, the country could save $609 billion by 2022. That’s real money — even in Washington!

2)  The expansion may do nothing to help low-income Arizonans — and could hurt them.

Several studies
 suggest that Medicaid may actually hurt its supposed beneficiaries, but there has been only one randomized study (the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment) comparing persons on Medicaid to persons having no insurance at all.  According to results released last weekthe study has so far failed to find any evidence that putting people on Medicaid saved any lives or made any improvements in several objective health markers (blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and diabetes).

Things will get worse in AHCCCS the longer ObamaCare goes without being repealed.  In Arizona, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 23 percent of doctors say they will not accept AHCCCS patients.  Combine large increases in the Medicaid population with a declining number of doctors, and the result will be longer waiting times for patients.  In medicine, longer waiting times often mean discomfort, disability and death.  Read more about the human cost of the Medicaid expansion HERE.

3)  The so-called “hidden health tax” won’t get fixed.

The proponents of the current Medicaid expansion estimate that there is a “hidden health tax” of $2,000 per family per year in higher insurance premiums caused by uncompensated care(uninsured or underinsured people using the emergency room).  13 years ago, backers of the Prop 204 Medicaid expansion made the same argument, claiming that the expansion was going to relieve the state’s uncompensated care problem.  But according to a Lewin Group study,uncompensated care in Arizona increased by an average of nine percent per year during the first seven years of the Prop 204 Medicaid expansion, and the average family’s health insurance premium increased from $8,972 in 2003 to $14,854 in 2011 – a 66 percent increase.

Before you believe the hospital lobby’s arguments about uncompensated care, be sure to read Christina Corieri’s latest post: Medicaid expansion will line hospitals’ pockets.

4)  Arizona must bargain hard to get a better deal.

The main reason Arizona’s Medicaid system (AHCCCS) is not as bad as that in most other States is that Arizona waited two decades to join the Medicaid program.  Because we held out, we were able to bargain for a better deal – a Medicaid program that has been better at controlling costs and has provided better options for patients than in many other States.

But Governor Brewer’s team has failed to even try negotiating with Obama’s department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  In its most recent message about the Section 1115 waiver, HHS said “we do not anticipate that we would authorize enrollment caps or similar policies” while still letting States get 2-to-1 matching dollars.  But of course, “we do not anticipate” is not the same thing as saying “No.”  Right now, HHS is in the position of having to negotiate with States, because 18 States have already said No to the Medicaid expansion, and 12 States are still on the fence.  At this point, we don’t know if HHS really means “No,” because the Governor’s team simply threw up the white flag and capitulated to the demands of the Obama Administration.

Further, the Governor’s cost projections are based on AHCCCS coverage under cookie cutter Medicaid rules – in other words, how much things will cost if we capitulate and run AHCCCS according to federal diktat, without negotiating for better ways to run the program.

5)  The disgusting ploy to gut Prop 108 taxpayer protections will lead to more tax hikes.

Proponents of the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion are trying to do an end-run around Prop 108, the most important taxpayer protection in the Arizona Constitution.  Under Prop 108, it is supposed to take a two-thirds majority of the Legislature to raise taxes.  But Medicaid expansion proponents want to allow an unelected bureaucrat at AHCCCS to raise state taxes (mainlyhospital bed taxes) by hundreds of millions of dollars per year — without a two-thirds vote of the Legislature!

In their efforts to squeeze a giant hospital bed tax (“provider tax”) through a tiny loophole in Prop 108, Governor Brewer and others are trying to pretend that the provider tax is not a tax — even though the provider tax is a TAX under the Social Security Act.  They are also trying to pretend that: the provider tax is not allocated according to formula, although it plainly is; the provider tax does not have a limit, although it is limited by federal law to six percent; and, we don’t know how much money will be raised by the tax, even though the Governor and some Legislators are building budgets around the expected revenue.

History shows that removing taxpayer protections inevitably leads to higher taxes.  If Arizona’s Legislators delegate to an AHCCCS bureaucrat the authority to impose gigantic taxes on hospital patients, they will kill Prop 108, clearing the way for other departments and agencies to raise taxes without getting approval by legislative supermajorities.

To block the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion and to stop the end-run around Arizona’s constitutional taxpayer protections, TAKE ACTION HERE. For more information about the May 15 health care freedom protest at the Arizona Capitol, go here.

For Liberty, Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
www.aztaxpayers.org

Update on Obamacare-Medicaid Expansion in Arizona

Here’s a brief update on the push to expand Medicaid in the Arizona Legislature.

Rumors are circulating that Senator John McComish is attempting to orchestrate a coup d’état on Senate President Andy Biggs as former Senate President Steve Pierce looks on with plausible deniability. Why a coup? Because Senate President Andy Biggs is the one individual holding firm against a vote on Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in the State Senate. Both McComish and Pierce are supporting Governor Brewer and trying to pave the way for her Medicaid plan. But you should also know that McComish and especially Pierce took thousands of dollars from higher-ups in the healthcare industrial complex during the last election cycle. (Biggs did not.) We are compiling the names and amounts of all the donations received by Medicaid proponents with the goal of connecting the dots. Just another example of the corporate-political incest (yes, it happens on both sides.)

Meanwhile in the State House, Governor Brewer does NOT have the votes to pass her Medicaid expansion. Proponents of Medicaid expansion are short the votes needed to require both a simple majority and two-thirds vote (Prop 108 requirement). House Speaker Andy Tobin is also holding back a vote on the legislation so you can imagine he is under tremendous pressure to let the legislation move for a vote.

At the same time all this is taking place, Democrats are getting very irritated with an effort to amend any legislation to prohibit our tax dollars from going to Planned Parenthood. (We all know that giving money to Planned Parenthood is an accounting game that allows them to free up other funds for abortions.) Democrats want the Medicaid bill to remain silent on tax dollars to abortion providers because they know Planned Parenthood would be feasting off the same steady stream of tax dollars “returning” from the federal government. In fact, House minority leader and likely Democrat gubernatorial candidate Chad Campbell sent an email out today expressing frustration, covering for abortion providers and urging individuals to call their legislators. His rhetoric has heated up calling social and religious conservatives “extremists,” “right-wing” and “special interests” all because they oppose using tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood.

Keep your eyes on the players in this whole exercise of corporate cronyism and who stands to gain the most “free” tax dollars.