Rep. John Kavanagh: Medicaid Expansion is a Massive Takeover of Health Care in Arizona

State Representative John Kavanagh appeared on Sunday Square Off with Brahm Resnik this morning standing firm against expanding Medicaid dependency in Arizona. Thank you Representative Kavanagh for standing for health care freedom, doctor-patient relationships and protecting Arizona taxpayers!

STOP Medicaid Expansion in Arizona!

Americans for Prosperity - Arizona

IMPORTANT ACTION ALERT!

To all Arizona Taxpayers and Health Care Consumers,

First, please register now for AFP-Arizona’s debate on the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion, which will take place from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm on Thursday, February 21 at the Goldwater Institute. To register, send an email here (For more info about the debate, scroll down.)

Gov. Jan Brewer and powerful lobbyists are pushing Arizona to impose statewide taxes, including a hospital bed tax, to fund an expansion of Medicaid (AHCCCS) under ObamaCare. It is vitally important for Arizona to stop the proposed Medicaid expansion, because the human and fiscal costs of that expansion would be enormous. TAKE ACTION NOW.

The most important issue in the Medicaid expansion is the human cost. If Arizona were to expand Medicaid, it would railroad at least 250,000 Arizonans into a low-quality, government-managed health insurance system. Medicaid patients not only have worse medical outcomes than patients with private insurance, but often have worse medical outcomes than low-income persons without insurance — even when they have the same medical conditions. Please go to http://tinyurl.com/gottliebwsj to learn more about this important issue.

But the proponents of the expansion are also trying to do an end-run around Prop 108, the most important taxpayer protection ever passed by Arizona voters. Thanks to Prop 108, the Arizona Constitution requires a two-thirds majority of the Legislature to raise taxes. But Medicaid expansion proponents want to allow unelected bureaucrats at AHCCCS to raise state taxes (mainly hospital bed taxes) by $369 million over the next three years — without a two-thirds vote of the Legislature! If Legislators use a simple majority to delegate to bureaucrats the authority to impose gigantic taxes on hospital patients, they will kill Prop 108 and destroy its protections for Arizona taxpayers. If that happens, we will blame those Legislators — not the lawyers and judges who help them carve out a gigantic loophole in Prop 108.

Gov. Brewer told Arizonans to “do the math” on the Medicaid expansion. With all due respect, she should do the same. According to Brewer’s projections, the Arizona Medicaid expansion would cause the (already bankrupt) federal government to spend $3.6 billion over the next three years alone. The people who will pay those taxes include most of the people of Arizona and — thanks to the federal debt — our children and grandchildren.

The current JLBC projection of $325 million per year in tax increases in 2016 (as bad as that is!) hides the actual future cost of the proposed taxes. By 2019, Arizona will have to pick up at least 10 percent of the cost of the expansion, which will be hundreds of millions of additional dollars annually. And the Obama Administration has already proposed several times to shift additional costs of the expansion to the States.

TAKE ACTION!

Please use this link to send a quick and easy email to your Legislators, asking them to resist the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion. At the very least, even if they are tempted to engage in short-term thinking and take a bunch of “free” money from Washington, legislators should comply with the voter-imposed constitutional requirement to raise taxes with a two-thirds majority.   

REGISTER FOR THE DEBATE!

Please register now for AFP-Arizona’s debate on the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion, which will take place from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm on Thursday, February 21 at the Goldwater Institute.

At the event, Michael Cannon of  the Cato Institute, Goldwater Institute health care policy analyst Christina Corieri, and Phoenix surgeon Jeff  Singer will take on any three pro-expansion advocates who want to debate these issues publicly. We have extended the invitation to debate to the Brewer Administration, to Brewer advisers Chuck Coughlin and Peter Burns, AHCCCS director Tom Betlach, Democratic Legislators, and members of the hospital and insurance lobbies. All concerned citizens who wish to attend the debate should RSVP here.

LEARN MORE!

For more about the problems with the proposed Medicaid expansion, read AFP-Arizona’s line-by-line refutation of Gov. Brewer’s pro-expansion arguments in her January 14 speech.

For Liberty,

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director, Americans for Prosperity

Arizona AFP Panel Discussion: The Educational Future of American Children

AZ_AFPF

Arizona parents, taxpayers and other concerned citizens are invited to an important event about the future of education policy in America. As part of National School Choice Week, the Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity Foundation is hosting an expert policy panel on Monday, January 28, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort, 7200 N. Scottsdale Road (just north of Indian Bend). (RSVP information below.)

We have some important ground to cover in this policy discussion, including these topics:

• Of the recent school choice programs that have passed—Education Savings Accounts in Arizona, vouchers in Indiana, parent triggers in California, etc., which are the most important for children?

• Can school choice programs take credit for recent successes in US education?

• What are the biggest challenges to school choice today?

• How can we ensure that school choice successes are not derailed by government intervention?

• How can we ensure that children in traditional district schools are not “left behind” by school choice reforms?

• What special efforts must be made to meetthe needs of students who live in poverty?

• What are the effects of high-stakes government tests on students and teachers?

Our expert panelists will answer these questions and identify the best paths forward to improve our children’s education:

Jason Bedrick, Visiting Scholar, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato Institute

Jonathan Butcher, Education Director, Goldwater Institute

Anthony Cody, Education Blogger, Teachers Lead and Education Week

Matthew Ladner, Senior Advisor, Foundation for Excellence in Education

To attend this event, RSVP to Bill Fathauer at 480-332-0477 or bfathauer@afphq.orgPlease tell Bill if you are bringing any guests, and please give him your name, email address and best phone contact. We look forward to seeing you on January 28!

For Liberty, Tom

Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity Foundation

Victory! We Beat the Arizona Obamacare Exchange!

AFP Arizona

Dear Arizona Taxpayer:

The Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity is grateful to Governor Jan Brewer for rejecting the state-funded ObamaCare/PPACA Exchange and thereby protecting Arizona businesses, taxpayers and health care consumers.  As Governor Brewer noted in her news release on the topic, a state-funded Exchange would be very expensive for Arizona taxpayers, and the federal government “would maintain control over virtually every aspect of our Exchange.”

AFP-Arizona is also grateful to all of the Arizona Legislators who stood their ground against the state-funded Exchange in the face of intense lobbying pressure from corporate interests that had been bought off by ObamaCare’s system of government mandates and subsidies.  Further, AFP-Arizona is grateful to its donors for supporting usthrough this long fight, and we are grateful for the policy advice afforded to us by members of our coalition, including the Goldwater Institute and the Cato Institute.  Finally, and most importantly, AFP-Arizona is grateful to the thousands of grassroots activists in Arizona who took action against the Arizona Exchange by writing emails, making phone calls, and confronting elected officials at public meetings — more than anything else, their activism won this battle.

The fight to contain and control the wide-ranging damage of the ObamaCare legislation is far from over, and AFP-Arizona is now ready to fight ObamaCare’s hugely expensive (but optional!) Medicaid expansion here in Arizona.  But it’s important to take the time to celebrate our victories, so we will soon send out an invitation for an upcoming Victory Party for all of the activists and elected officials who fought the ObamaCare exchange.  At the party, we will also celebrate the decisive victory of Arizona taxpayers over the Prop 204 sales tax hike on the November 6 ballot.

And on the topic of Prop 204, AFP-Arizona wishes to express our deep gratitude to Governor Brewer for taking a firm stance against the permanent one-cent sales tax hike.  Governor Brewer promised Arizonans in 2010 that her intention was for the Prop 100 sales tax hike to be a temporary expedient, and she kept her promise.

For Liberty,

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
www.aztaxpayers.org
tjenney@afphq.org

We can stop ObamaCare in Arizona!

AFP Arizona

Dear Arizona Taxpayer:

On behalf of the Goldwater Institute, the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, the Arizona chapter ofAmericans for Prosperity, and lots of other great organizations, I am asking you to TAKE ACTION to encourage your Legislators to remain strong in resisting the attempts by Governor Jan Brewer and insurance lobbyists to impose an ObamaCare insurance exchange on Arizona families and businesses.

We have REALLY GOOD NEWS for taxpayers and health care freedom fighters: ObamaCare’s government takeover of American health care is vulnerable in the States. Click here to read a short summary of how States can stand against both the ObamaCare exchanges and the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion. Rather than rolling out the welcome mat for ObamaCare, Arizona needs to work for greater health care freedom. For more, read the Goldwater Institute’s briefing paper on alternatives to ObamaCare.

Under the ObamaCare legislation, States are under no obligation to set up exchanges.  Here are three quick reasons for Arizonans to join us in resisting the imposition of a state-funded exchange:

1) By stopping the exchange, we will stop government from using taxpayer dollars to subsidize private insurance companies.

2) By stopping the exchange, we will keep the exchange from reporting to the IRS individuals who have or do not have health insurance — as required by the ObamaCare legislation.

3) By stopping the exchange, we can prevent Arizona businesses from having to pay a $2,000 fine per worker per year and exempt tens of thousands of Arizonans from the individual mandate’s tax of $2,085 per year for a family of four.

We can win this one!  Nine States have already rejected exchanges: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

Please TAKE ACTION to encourage your Legislators to remain strong in resisting the imposition of an ObamaCare insurance exchange on the state of Arizona.

For Liberty, Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
www.aztaxpayers.org
tjenney@afphq.org

ACT NOW to stop the Prop 204 Tax Hike

AFP Arizona

URGENT Action Items Below

Dear Arizona Taxpayer,

AFP-Arizona Needs YOU to help us defeat Proposition 204!

While current polling shows that Arizona voters are prepared to reject the Prop 204 tax hike on Tuesday, we must keep the heat turned up in the last days before the election.

The facts on Proposition 204 are simple:  It makes the temporary sales tax increase PERMANENT, which would cost Arizona taxpayers an additional $1 billion per year and potentially cost the state 15,000 jobs.  Arizona families are already hurting in a bad economy, and this is worst time to raise taxes and harm economic growth. Prop 204 also provides an already bloated education bureaucracy — Arizona’s total education spending has increased over 60% in the last decade, even as a smaller percentage of funds has gone to the classroom — with even more money, while failing to provide real reform to Arizona’s education system.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION!

AFP-Arizona is asking you to do the following:[1]

• Take whatever NO on 204 yard signs you may have to your nearest polling location on Monday night (Nov 5).

• Take any extra NO on 204 yard signs you may have to key polling locations (use the email below to ask Bill where your closest key locations are).

• Hand out anti-204 literature at your nearest polling place on Tuesday (use the email below to ask Bill for a printable version of AFP-AZ’s anti-204 talking points).

•  Per Arizona law, no materials (yard signs, literature, etc.) may be distributed or placed within 75 feet of polling locations.

Please contact Bill Fathauer AS SOON AS POSSIBLE at 480-332-0477 orbfathauer@afphq.org to volunteer for these actions.  (If you contact Bill today, or over the weekend, you will help us reduce our workload on Monday and Tuesday.)  Even if you can only volunteer for an hour or two, your help will be vital in stopping a massive tax hike that will damage the Arizona economy.

Thank you and keep up the good fight!

For Liberty, Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
tjenney@afphq.org
(602) 478-0146



[1]AFP-Arizona is independently asking its activists to take these actions to oppose Proposition 204. AFP-Arizona is not a sponsor of the No on 204 campaign, nor is it acting in coordination with the No New Taxes, No on 204 ballot committee.

Proposition 116’s Fate Awaits Election Day

www.VoteYESon116.com

Facebook: Vote YES on 116

Twitter: @VoteYESon116

As the VoteYESon116 campaign heads into the home stretch, small business job creators are optimistic that Arizona’s voters will pass Proposition 116, the Small Business Job Creation Act. The unanimously-passed referendum would create new jobs in Arizona by rolling back the burdensome annual equipment and machinery tax that’s levied before a small business hires its first worker, makes its first sale or even turns a profit. To keep up on developments with the campaign, visit these sites and share them with your family, friends, neighbors and anyone who values your opinion: 

OFFICIAL RESOURCES

VoteYESon116 – visit the official “yes” campaign website to learn more about the referendum

“What’s on My Ballot? – Proposition 116, Arizona’s General Election Guide 2012” – an official publication of the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office

NEWS COVERAGE

“Voters to decide fate of tax exemption for businesses” – newspaper coverage by the Arizona Republic’s Ryan Randazzo

“Proposition 116 supporters say it would spur hiring” – Cronkite News’ Sarah Pringle explains Proposition 116’s impact on job creation

“Prop. 116 supporters: Lower business property taxes would spur hiring” – wire service coverage at KTAR radio’s website from the Associated Press

“Prop 116: Business tax exemption on ballot” – newspaper coverage in the Yuma Sun by Capitol Media Service’s Howard Fischer

NEWSPAPER EDITORIALS

“Our position… Proposition 116: Support”Arizona Republic, October 18, 2012

“Courier: Yes on Proposition 116”Prescott Daily Courier, October 20, 2012 

“Proposition 116 — Yes”Casa Grande Dispatch, October 24, 2012 

“Vote for the good of business”Inside Tucson Business, October 12, 2012

“Proposition 116 would stimulate state economy”Yuma Sun, October 4, 2012

 

VIDEOS

VoteYESon116 “I’ll Hire” Commercial

VoteYESon116 “Cupcake” Commercial

“Vote 2012: Proposition 116” – a 7 minute 23 second video from Eight, Arizona PBS’s Arizona Horizon program on Proposition 116 with NFIB’s Farrell Quinlan

“Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett’s 2012 Ballot Measure Town Hall. Proposition 116 – Taxes on Business Equipment & Machinery” – a two-minute video on why voters should pass Proposition 116 featuring NFIB/Arizona’s Farrell Quinlan

“Proposition 116 increases tax exemption for businesses” – a 1 minute 26 second video from Cronkite News reporter Mugo Odigwe features small-business-owner Margie Long of Hot Air Expeditions and NFIB’s Farrell Quinlan on the effects of Proposition 116 on job creation

ORGANIZATIONAL ENDORSEMENTS

Americans For Prosperity – Arizona
American Rental Association – Arizona
AMIGOS (Arizona Mining and Industry Gets Our Support)
Arizona Cattle Feeders’ Association
Arizona Cattle Grower’s Association
Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Arizona Farm Bureau Federation
Arizona Multihousing Association
Arizona Technology Council
Chandler Chamber of Commerce
Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce
Goldwater Institute
Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
National Federation of Independent Business – Arizona
Nogales-Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce
Printing Industries of Arizona
Tempe Chamber of Commerce
Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce
United Dairymen of Arizona
Western Growers

Obama’s Failing Agenda Tour in Tempe this Monday!

Americans for Prosperity - Arizona

Dear Freedom Fighter,

 

AFP-Arizona will be traveling the state this week educating citizens about President Obama’s failing agenda and putting grassroots pressure on him.

Join us this Monday in Tempe to get the tools you need to educate your neighbors and family about Obama’s failing agenda!

WHAT: Obama’s Failing Agenda Bus Tour Stop in Tempe

WHEN: Monday, September 17th — Bus Stop Rally, Noon to 1:00 pm and Freedom PhoneBank Training, 1:00 to 2:00 pm

WHERE: 12 PM at Monti’s La Casa Vieja, 1 W. Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ

REGISTER TODAY!

We’ve faced a government health care takeover, burdening Americans with over $500 billion in new taxes, four straight years of spending trillions of dollars we don’t have, billions wasted on green energy companies like Solyndra which then went bankrupt, and over 42 straight months of unemployment above 8 percent.

It’s time for President Obama to change his failing agenda and support policies that will help families and not drive America deeper into debt.

Hope to see you this week; it’s time to make your voice heard!

Yours in Liberty,

Tom Jenney
State Director
AFP-Arizona

Arizona sales-tax hike gets shiv on shady iPad contest promoted on Facebook, Twitter

Below is the complaint letter submitted to Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett earlier this week by Tom Jenney of Americans for Prosperity Arizona challenging the legality of initiative petitions turned in by the “Quality Education & Jobs” campaign based on signatures gathered by ‘volunteers’ with the promise of winning an iPad — thereby calling into question any and all of these petitions not disclosing that they were collected by a paid circulator. In the grand scheme of things this complaint likely reveals a small violation that will probably not invalidate enough petitions to drop their signature tally below the number required to earn a spot on November’s ballot.  However, this pattern and practice also reveals another instance where the troubled “Quality Education & Jobs” campaign has played fast-and-loose with the rules regarding gathering signatures… all in service to “The Children”… and government unions and brazen special interests who stand to reap hundreds of millions in government contracts. No wonder it has been thrown off the ballot. Let’s hope an activist judge doesn’t disregard the black-letter of the law and force this massive tax increase onto November’s ballot.  

BONUS: Click here to listen to the initial reaction from top “Quality Education & Jobs” campaign officials (Chairwoman Ann-Eve Petersen, Associated General Contractors honcho David Martin, consultant Joe Yuhas and others) upon learning their campaign’s 290,000 petition signatures are invalid.

June 25, 2012

The Honorable Ken Bennett
Arizona Secretary of State
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007-2888

Dear Secretary Bennett,

On behalf of the 70,000 taxpayers in this state who are members of our organization, the Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity wishes to bring to your prompt attention an important matter regarding the potential failure by one or more ballot initiative organizers to fully and properly disclose their use of paid signature petition circulators. 

I-16-2012 has filed for inclusion on the November ballot and signature petitions have been circulated by its initiative supporters for qualification.  This initiative, commonly referred to as “Quality Education and Jobs,” has already submitted petitions to your office for certification.

Based upon the enclosed information, we believe that circulators have been compensated and incentivized with the promise of future compensation for collecting a specific number of signatures on behalf of the initiative.  We believe that repeated solicitations over Facebook and Twitter accounts maintained by initiative organizers, as well as at least one email sent by organizers or on their behalf, clearly demonstrate that the collection of fifteen (15) petition signatures were directly exchanged for “a brand new iPad 3” by at least two individuals.

A.R.S. § 19-118 defines a paid circulator as “…a person who receives monetary or other compensation that is based on the number of signatures obtained on a petition or on the number of petitions circulated that contain signatures.”  Those who satisfy the criteria of paid circulators are required to disclose their paid circulator status by noting the same on the petition.     

Organizers of I-16-2012 have apparently twice awarded an iPad 3, valued at $499, to certain individuals on or about May 11 and June 1.  Although the solicitations characterize the circulators as “volunteers,” the nature of those awards qualifies them as paid circulators by law.

We therefore request that your office immediately investigate this matter to determine whether the actions of the “Quality Education and Jobs” initiative organizers constitute a violation of A.R.S. § 19-118 and to take any and all necessary action. 

Furthermore, please accept this letter as a formal complaint with regard to the possibility that the “Quality Education and Jobs” initiative organizers may have circulated petitions using ballot language that differed from the official initiative language.  Given the discrepancies uncovered by the Arizona Tax Research Association (please refer to the attached article from the June 22, 2012 issue of the Arizona Capitol Times), we believe that the organizers of the “Quality Education and Jobs” initiative acted in violation of A.R.S. § 19-112, which requires that petition signature sheets be attached “at all times during circulation to a full and correct copy of the title and text of the measure or constitutional amendment proposed or referred by the petition.”

Thank you very much for your consideration of these matters, and for taking the time and effort to provide written responses to these complaints.

For Liberty,

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity

Cut Spending Now! October 8th AFP Tour Stop in Prescott Valley

Tell Washington to Cut Spending Now!

Americans have tightened their belts, and so should Washington, DC!

Dear Arizona Taxpayer,

For decades, Washington has continued to borrow and spend at a pace that is not sustainable. Washington is borrowing nearly 40 cents of every dollar we spend and the US debt is now the same size as our entire economy.

You and I understand that our families could not survive borrowing at the same rate, but Washington continues to use the same budgeting gimmicks and accounting tricks to hide our financial crisis.

That’s why Americans for Prosperity is pleased to announce our Cut Spending Now! Tour, which will be rolling through Prescott Valley, Arizona on Saturday, October 8, at the northwest corner of Highways 69 and 169. REGISTER TODAY for this FREE event!

Here are the event details:

Who: Hard-working, concerned citizens such as YOURSELF!
What: Cut Spending Now Tour
Where: Intersection of Highways 69 and 169, northwest corner, Prescott Valley/Dewey.
When: Saturday, October 8, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm
Why: To stand up to politicians and tell them to Cut Spending Now!
How: REGISTER HERE

If you cannot make it to the event, please click here and sign our Cut Spending Now! petition. And be sure to take our quick poll on how to solve America’s $150 trillion unfunded government liability crisis.

We cannot continue to spend at this rate. Now is the time for Washington to tighten its belt and make the same tough choices that American families and businesses have made for decades. We must fight to ensure that Washington puts America first and Cuts Spending Now!

We hope you will join us in this fight, and we’ll see you on the road! And don’t forget to register today!

Also: be sure to read the new paper from the national policy staff at Americans for Prosperity. The Congressional Super Committee needs to come up with $1.5 trillion in cuts in the wake of the debt-ceiling deal. But that’s pretty weak (not very “super” in the big scheme of things), so AFP has produced a recommendation for over $5 trillion in spending cuts:

http://www.americansforprosperity.org/100311-afp-releases-super-committee-recommendations

For Liberty,

Tom Jenney