Q & A With Alice Lara

Sonoran Alliance writer, Candie Dates, was recently able to sit down with Maricopa County Health Care District candidate Alice Lara. Here is the Q&A from that interview. Hopefully, it will get picked up by the search engines before voters head to the polls in supervisorial district five.

Q. First of all, where is the district you’re running in located, so voters know whether they’re in your district?

A. If I’m on your ballot under “Maricopa County Special Healthcare District #5” then you know you’re in my district. My district generally covers South Phoenix and downtown, but it’s a bit gerrymandered, so it stretches pretty far west (almost to Quartzsite) and east (covers Guadalupe) in patches. The districts are split up along the lines of the county supervisors’ districts, so my district is the same as Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox’s. The map is here – District 5 is on page 6, and you may need to magnify it 200% or so to read the streets.

Q. You’ve been endorsed by both Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Andrew Thomas, Michael Nowakowski, and Arizona Right to Life. You’re running for an open seat against 4 opponents; three Democrats and a Republican who is part of the Maricopa GOP slate (note – this is not a partisan race so candidates do not indicate their political party, however we thought it was relevant for our readers to know). Why should voters pick you over your opponents?

A.  The Maricopa County Special Healthcare District has a history of financial problems. The last thing we need is someone running this district who is not fiscally minded. My Democrat opponents have offered no assurances that they would govern as fiscal conservatives. In fact at one event one voter indicated to me that she was supporting Dr. Kelchner because she knew she was for national healthcare.  Needless to say the voter was unhappy with me when I told her I am not an advocate of national healthcare.  Providing national healthcare wouldn’t be one of my responsbilitiies if I was elected . Two of them are doctors. I think it’s equally important to have someone on the board who is not in the healthcare industry, to represent the general public’s perspective.  I’ve met Todd Hansen who is the other Republican in the race  and he seems like a decent candidate, but  due to his lack of campaigning or putting up signs, he has little or no name recognition.  I understand he was running on a slate for the board with other Republicans who vow to shut down the hospital, but in his questionnaire for the Arizona Republic he backed off from that.

Q. How do you feel about shutting down the hospital?

A. I have taken a tour of the hospital and  though it  may sound good in theory to fiscal conservatives, I would like to thoroughly examine the situation and make an informed decision. A not so well known fact is that 80% of the patients there are paying patients. A blogger on your site adamantly supported shutting the hospital down; but did not put forth a convincing argument. Considering the county’s budget problems right now (it’s so bad they recently laid off some county employees), the entire situation would have to be assessed.  In my short campaign experience for this position it appears the public perceives that Maricopa Medical Center (the hospital) as the only operation in the Mariciopa Integrated health system.  I need to remind your readers that it also includes the Arizona Burn Center, the Comprehensive Healthcare Center, the McDowell Healthcare Clinic, 10 community-oriented family health centers, and an attendant care program.  Regardless of your views on the issue, the support is not there politically to stop providing government healthcare to the needy, so we may as well make sure we have fiscally responsible people in charge of that healthcare.   When the district was first created a few years ago, there was some concern that it wouldn’t be accountable to anyone, because its funding comes from a separate taxing entity that is not under the control of the legislature or county government (the voters passed Prop. 414 in 2003 which set up a separate property tax to fund the district). Which is why it is so imperative that we get good fiscal conservatives in control of it. I’d like to find out what’s going on and open up what’s going on with taxpayers’ money to the public. This is an area of government that should be as transparent as possible.

Q. Anything else you’d like voters to know before Tuesday?

A. Vote for Greg Patterson from espressopundit.com if you live in District 2 (generally Mesa and Scottsdale). He shares the same philosophy that I do and was the first one to get me interested in this race.

Q. Where can voters go for more information about your campaign?

A. My website is voteforalice.com.


Comments

  1. I am curious how others understand this quote:
    “Regardless of your views on the issue, the support is not there politically to stop providing government healthcare to the needy, so we may as well make sure we have fiscally responsible people in charge of that healthcare.”

    Is she saying she believes government should not provide healthcare to the needy?

  2. Friend of Alice says

    She isn’t saying so either way, she’s just saying it’s not very relevant whether you’re for or against government providing for the needy, since it’s not going away. Why do you sound so shocked anyways? Plenty of us fiscal libertarians believe the private sector would do a better job taking care of the needy, not government.

  3. Wooden Teeth says

    The real question is how would a “fiscal libertarian” define needy. If I had a cut finger I’d be happy to get it stitched up by someone who hadn’t gone to medical school. It would save me a ton of money, whether I’m needy or not.

    A true libertarian would have hospitals be like restaurants. Even the needy can afford the cheap ones, and those with more money get more expensive food.

    The problem here is that people insist that health care itself be based on equality. We don’t insist on that for anything else, like housing or food. Why is that? Does it really upset the libertarian that a poor person would get a few stitches from the neighborhood seamstress for $10 when the rich guy hires a plastic surgeon? Is is just unnatural that the poor get the worst healthcare? They already have the worst of everything else, no?

    If the poor did have money available, is healthcare the first thing they would spend it on? And if not, why are we forced to do it for them?

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