Archives for April 2013

Vince Leach Announces for Arizona State House in 2014

SaddleBrooke Resident and Conservative Activist Vince Leach Announces Run for State House in 2014

Vince LeachPINAL COUNTY ­ Longtime conservative activist Vince Leach today announced his intention to run for the State House in Legislative District 11. The district is currently represented by both Steve Smith and Adam Kwasman in the House, but Smith is expected to run for the State Senate seat that is expected to be vacated by current State Senator Al Melvin, who announced yesterday that he was forming an Exploratory Committee to explore a campaign for Governor of Arizona.

In his announcement, Leach said “Our district has a great delegation made up of three rock-solid conservatives. I’m excited to hear that Al is considering running for Governor and that Steve would then run for the State Senate seat. But those moves will leave a vacancy in the State House and I am running to be sure that we continue to have reliably conservative representation.”

Leach recognized that he was off to an early start but noted the likely expense of the race and the need to organize quickly. “I assume that we will have a competitive primary and that those who favor a larger government and higher taxes will likely field a candidate. With my expectation that we are going to need at least $60-70,000 for a competitive primary, I need to get going right away to raise the necessary funds and to build the required organization.”

Leach also announced that he was endorsed by both Melvin and Smith. Melvin said that Leach “has been a constant and effective presence here at the Capitol on behalf of our community and taxpayers all across the state, and his knowledge of how things work at the Capitol will be a real boon to him and the district.” Smith said that he looked forward to working with Leach because “having conservatives makes the work here a lot easier, and I know that Vince is a reliable conservative who will fight for taxpayers, our Constitution, and Arizona.”

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Weekly AZ Conservative Coalition Legislator Eval Update

Updated Ratings!!!

 

Arizona Conservative Coalition Republican Legislator Rankings
Legislative Actions as of 4/19/2013
Last Updated 4/21/2013
 Narrative:

 

The number of bills being tracked is 254 plus 3 Strike All amended bills.
There were some changes in scores – especially a general move downward in both bodies of the legislature largely due to votes on bills this past week.
In the Senate, HB2045 (essentially allowing the executive branch to impose a hospital bed tax) and HB2500 (which forces insurance companies to consider the government a preferred provider for vaccinations) caused Republican scores to be lower. Both of these bills have the appeal of not having the legislature vote to increase taxes or fees while allowing executive agencies to extract more money from the private sector. The government should raise money based on specific taxes and fees set by the legislature instead of hiding what big government legislators call “revenue enhancements” in regulatory authority assigned to the executive branch.
In the House, SB1223 (allowing the Department of Fish and Game to set fees instead of having the legislature set them) and SB1316 (adding state regulation of house appraisers) causes lower scores. SB1223 eliminates the legislated fees and empowers the executive branch to set fees which we consistently oppose as an abrogation of legislative responsibility. SB1316 adds more economic regulation ostensibly to protect people from bad appraisers, but will actually restrict competition in the appraisal industry, raise costs of appraisals (which will be an added cost to those financing a house purchase), and will have little or no effect on protecting the public since these appraisals are done for the benefit of lenders financing the house purchase (NOT the buyer or seller of the property). Mortgage lenders can qualify their own appraisers without the assistance and cost of state licensing. This is another example of an economic regulation sought by the regulated industry as a means of limiting entry and raising prices rather than actually serving a legitimate public purpose.
These are NOT final scores for the session until our final report after the session ends! We encourage conservative activists to use these weekly evaluations as a way to work with legislators to achieve more conservative results in the legislative session.
The legislation causing the most lowering of scores is HB2047 combined with HB2045 which switches Arizona from the AIMS standard to the Common Core standard. Our concern is that Common Core surrenders state autonomy on education to the federal government and promotes nationalization of education well beyond the proper scope of the federal government. In addition, the curriculum associated with Common Core relies on an international perspective instead of traditional study of American and World history. HB2425 was passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor.
Other bills having a significant negative impact on scores remove significant limitations on school district spending, allow executive agencies to set fees in order to bypass limitations on the legislature raising taxes or fees, or increase government regulation of businesses.
Many Republican legislators have argued that good business regulations that “make people do the right thing” are good. This, unfortunately, is almost a perfect definition of fascism which Republicans traditionally oppose. There are always situations where we might wish others would deal with us on terms of our choosing when they are not willing to do so. Using government to force people to deal with us on our terms rather than mutually agreed upon terms is tyranny even if it is dressed up as consumer protection or professional responsibility or trying to improve market efficiency. Of course, in a free economy, people can decide for themselves what is good and make decisions on that basis as both consumers and businesses. Also, government regulations usually have unintended consequences that are usually bad. These consequences are then used to justify still more regulation when less regulation is the best solution.

 

To look at the legislator scores, click on legislative report.
 For bills used in evaluation, click on bill weights.

For Frequently Asked Questions, click on  FAQs.

AL MELVIN EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE FOR GOVERNOR

ImageAL MELVIN

EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE FOR GOVERNOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 22nd, 2013

For more information: Constantin Querard – (480) 703-8145

 

State Senator Al Melvin Forms Exploratory

Committee for 2014 Governor’s Race

 

PHOENIX – Republican State Senator Al Melvin announced today that he was

forming an Exploratory Committee to explore a campaign for Governor of

Arizona.

 

The third-term Senator made it clear that his motivation for exploring came from

both his frustration with the lack of progress being made and a genuine optimism

for Arizona’s future.

 

“We have been blessed with some hard-working reform-minded

legislatures during my time here, but we have failed to make the kind of

progress that the people of Arizona deserve because too many elected

officials are content to think small and act small.”

 

“Arizona is capable of real greatness if we elect leaders who are willing to

be bold, even if it comes with political risk or at a political cost. We need to

offer real reform, real proposals to create growth on a massive scale, an

impassioned defense of our state’s rights in the face of an everencroaching

federal government, and education reform that finally and

firmly shifts the power away from bureaucracies and into the hands of

parents where it belongs. That is the plan that I will offer and I look forward

to traveling around Arizona and determining what kind of support there is

for a candidate who offers that bold vision.”

 

Melvin serves as Chairman of the Commerce, Energy and Military Committee

and founded the highly successful Mining Caucus and Tourism Caucus. He has

had a long business career in international trade and transportation, is a

graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY and received his

MBA degree from Thunderbird-School of Global Management in Glendale, AZ.

Prior to his election to the Senate, he taught college level courses as an adjunct,

in economics, international business and management.

 

Melvin is a military veteran and graduate of the US Naval War College. He was

awarded the Legion of Merit, a distinguished service medal, for his service as

Commander of COMPSRONTWO, then the largest ship squadron in the US

Navy (14 ships) based at the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. In 1999,

after 30 years in the US Naval Reserve, he retired as a Navy Captain, the

equivalent of a full colonel.

 

He is a member of the VFW, American Legion, Military Officers of America and

other military related organizations. Sen. Melvin is a life Member of the NRA

(National Rifle Association). He is a member of the Elks, Rotary and Knights of

Columbus, and he remains a proud Eagle Scout (class of ’61).

Al and his wife Kou reside in SaddleBrooke in Pinal County, just north of Tucson

and attend St. Christopher Catholic Church in Marana.

 

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Paid for by Melvin for Arizona

State Bar assigns Andrew Thomas nemesis to investigate whistleblower’s complaint against Disciplinary Judge

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N  S E N S E , in Arizona
Saturday, April 20, 2013

State Bar assigns candidate who lost race to Thomas, and who was fined, to investigate legitimate complaint about Thomas disciplinary judge
Corruption within State Bar at highest levels ever

—–Original Message—– From: Mark Dixon [mailto:md20033@yahoo.com] Sent: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 6:20 PM To: ‘Amelia Cramer’ Cc: ‘levine2005@aol.com‘; ‘whitney@cunninghammott.com‘; ‘rtplattlaw@gmail.com‘; ‘bryan.chambers@azbar.org‘; ‘lisaloo@asu.edu‘; ‘jennifer.rebholz@farmersinsurance.com‘; ‘alex@vakulalaw.net‘; ‘jflagler@flaglerlaw.org‘; ‘mcrawford@mcrazlaw.com‘; ‘Dee-Dee.Samet@azbar.org‘; ‘r.coffinger@gmail.com‘; ‘tom@crowescott.com‘; ‘dderickson@rhlfirm.com‘; ‘DDrain@DianeDrain.com‘; ‘mho@polsinelli.com‘; ‘ssaks@cb-attorney.com‘; ‘gt@ltinjury.com‘; ‘JimmieDeeSmith@azbar.org‘; ‘Kanefieldj@ballardspahr.com‘; ‘smays@phoenixlaw.edu‘; ‘marc.miller@law.arizona.edu‘; ‘Douglas.Sylvester@asu.edu‘; ‘tonyfinley@hotmail.com‘; ‘ajennings@bloodsystems.org‘; ‘meredith_peabody@hotmail.com‘; ‘maritajohn@cox.net‘; ‘jennifer.burns@azbar.org‘; ‘dbyers@courts.az.gov‘; ‘virginia.gonzales@azag.gov‘; ‘John F. Phelps’

Subject: Expected contact regarding State Bar Disciplinary Council and Disciplinary Judge William J. O’Neil

Ms. Cramer,

I have been waiting patiently for the response you promised below. The only communication I have received is an email from Mr. Thomas McCauley:

“RE: 13-0689 (Kent Volkmer); 13-0691 (David Cowles)
Mr. Dixon,
“These matters have been assigned to me for investigation. I will let you know if I need any additional information and the results of my investigation.
Tom McCauley 602-340-7352”

I strongly object to the assignment of Mr. Thomas McCauley to the investigation of these issues. It is impossible for Mr. McCauley to be impartial in any investigation regarding any matter revolving around William J. O’Neil, my issues, or any issue involving Andrew Thomas, Lisa Aubuchon, Rachel Alexander etc.

Mr. McCauley ran for Maricopa County Attorney in 2004, a race he lost in the primary, and in which he was, quite frankly, not even a serious contender. Upon losing the primary race he organized Concerned Citizens Against Andrew Thomas. Mr. McCauley subsequently was fined $1,000.00 by the Maricopa County Elections Department for campaign violations under order CF04-35. McCauley supported the Democrat candidate in the General Election over Thomas — who was so out there that even Democrat Mayor Phil Gordon supported Thomas over him in the General election. The Wells Fargo bank account used was out of Portland Oregon. This appears to be an obvious attempt to secret additional finance information.

Mr. McCauley’s loyalties clearly lie against Andrew Thomas and investigating my claims against Judge O’Neil will entail reopening Thomas’s discipline investigation, along with many others that are tainted by Jg. O’Neil and his accomplices at the State Bar. As I revealed in an earlier email, Kent Volkmer warned me that O’Neil and “the establishment” would try to take me down for my attempts to expose the corruption.

My claims, which are fully supported by the evidence, clearly show a severe problem with William J. O’Neil and the attorney discipline process he controls. The true and factual affidavit that Lisa Aubuchon used in her appeal adds to the credible information supporting the fact that O’Neil did not provide Andrew Thomas and his subordinates with a fair and unbiased hearing. Mr. McCauley’s extreme bias against Andrew Thomas is cause to remove him from investigating this matter because the essence of my complaint includes abuses perpetrated against Thomas and the others by O’Neil and the disciplinary arm of the State Bar.

This speaks to the bias of the Arizona State Bar and Ms. Vessella, head of the discipline department. Ms. Vessella would have been the individual to assign these complaints to Mr. McCauley. To put it frankly, upon the inevitable investigation of my claims and exposure of William J. O’Neil, Mr. McCauley, Ms. Vessella and others in her department also will be exposed for abuses of power.

A next logical step is to re-open and question every proceeding brought by the Bar and presided over by O’Neil as the Disciplinary Judge, starting with Andrew Thomas. Mr. McCauley’s personal vendetta against Andrew Thomas compels him to find any reason not to expose the truth. Moreover, we need not look any farther than the actions taken against Mr. Ernest Calderon. Mr. Calderon served as the State Bar President from 2002 – 2003. He worked for the State Bar reviewing hundreds of investigations similar to those brought against Andrew Thomas. Even though he publicly did not agree with Thomas’s immigration policy, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office asked Mr. Calderon to review the many bar complaints filed against Andrew Thomas and the others in his administration. Mr. Calderon determined none were legitimate.

What did Mr. Calderon receive for this? He was removed as one of the four delegates to the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates, a position he had held for four years. Emails reveal that there were no character issues raised regarding Mr. Calderon. The only issues raised were “related to the Thomas matter and concerns about loyalty to the organization.” The emails further reveal the individuals attacking Mr. Calderon: “Several, led by Ed (Novak), Drain and Ditcher wayed[sic] in. Alan defended the recommendation of the Appointments Committee to reappoint you. It seemed the general sentiment was not to reappoint you and a motion was made to appoint Jeff Willis instead.

Tabling the decisions works in your favor because it will buy you time to make your case for reappointment. ” Emotions were running too high to vote today. I’m sorry about all of this, I get the impression that many Board members are unhappy with me also because of my role in the Thomas matter.” Former Bar President Daniel J. McAuliffe stated, as you have, “the members of the State Bar of Arizona’s Board of Governors do not involve themselves in disciplinary matters.”

Yet, in the matter of Mr. Calderon, it is apparent that they do, in fact, involve themselves in disciplinary matters. Specifically Mr. Calderon was punished by being removed as a delegate strictly because he presented an unbiased opinion regarding the numerous bar complaints brought against Mr. Thomas that said complaints were unfounded. Please remember that Ed Novak has been central in all these issues at the State Bar and still is.

A more recent development, just after coming out in support of the allegations I have raised, a NPR radio reported that Mr. Jack Levine, a member of the Bar’s Board of Governors, was accused of assaulting a State Bar staffer. Such an accusation is incredible. Come on, how low will some people stoop? Let’s see that one stick in the face of a claim of retaliation for Mr. Levine trying to do the right thing in attempting to hold members of the Board of the Arizona State Bar accountable.

One of the two complaints Mr. McCauley is “investigating” revolves around Tiffany & Bosco and Mr. David Cowles. Tiffany and Bosco breached an agreement with me regarding my property and they lied to me regarding my rights and their future conduct regarding the property. Since the complaint was filed, the foreclosure sale date has been postponed twice and now is set for April 18, 2013. I contend that if there was no merit to my complaint the property would have sold on the original sale date of March 21, 2013. Tiffany & Bosco committed to a judicial foreclosure on the mortgage and not the property; they further assured me that I would have access to the escrow account on said property. I do not. If there was no merit to the complaint the property would have sold long before now.

The fact that Mr. McCauley has not contacted me needing any additional information on this matter causes additional great concern regarding the integrity of this investigation. I am afraid that in the response to the complaint Tiffany and Bosco will not disclose the volumes of emails and other correspondence validating my claims. I also am sure Tiffany and Bosco will be protected from discipline due to the many Tiffany & Bosco representatives serving at the State Bar, “the establishment” will protect itself.

Currently the most conspicuous event is the change in status of my contractor’s license. In the enclosed attachment “ROC Timeline exhibits 4-15-13.pdf” (which can be found on scribd.com if not now then in the immediate future when I upload it) you will see said license was suspended on May 13, 2010 or September 27, 2010 or February 8, 2011 depending on which document you want to believe. The suspension stems from an unsubstantiated complaint filed on November 16, 2009. The complaint originally was cleared by the ROC investigator but reopened through the persistence of Maxine M. Becker Esq. with Salmon Lewis & Weldon, P. L. C. I ask you to review the file and realize that this was all done at the request of William J. O’Neil. The enclosed documents and timeline backs up this accusation and it is further substantiated by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, along with the Arizona Attorney General’s office, removing the complaint history etc. from the file. This pleases me of course but, does nothing to compensate me for the years I was not able to use my license (asset) to earn a living.

I was informed that the Arizona State Bar had no intention of looking into a complaint against William J. O’Neil regarding Robert M. Gallo as mentioned in the previous email. The State Bar disciplinary counsel has misinformed you that the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct cleared O’Neil in this matter. O’Neil was NOT cleared on these charges by the Commission on Judicial Conduct. They didn’t even consider them; the charges were just flat ignored, see the attachment “oneil complaint dismissal 12-4-12.pdf.” (check scribd.com in a few days for this file)

I want to make it clear that these charges were never addressed by the Commission and the attachment “william j oneil judicial complaint 4-16-13.pdf” (check scribd.com in a few days) is a new complaint to the Commission on Judicial Conduct addressing, in detail, those charges. I will also formally ask you to investigate those charges as it is very apparent the State Bar Disciplinary Counsel lacks the credibility to pursue this matter.

In my initial conversation with Mr. Jack Levine, we agreed that there were just a few bad apples in the system and some things needed to be straightened out. My opinion is quickly changing. A conclusion I am coming to is the Arizona Supreme Court is unable or incapable of policing its own and nothing short of a constitutional amendment abolishing the current judicial selection process and attorney discipline process will solve the problem. The Judiciary seems to thumb their nose at the legislature and governor all the while doing whatever they want, violating anyone’s rights who cross them and placing themselves above any and all A. R. S. statutes. It is time to remove this absolute power from the judiciary and put some serious oversight in the hands of the other branches of government.

I will remind you that I did not ask for this fight, it was visited upon me. What have I gotten for demanding my constitutional rights? I have had my family and business destroyed, my reputation attacked and my civil rights denied. When all this has not shut me up, then the cowards who are protected by the State Bar of Arizona attempt physical threats and intimidation. I have received death threat phone calls telling me to back off. I won’t. It is time to clean up this mess and restore the judicial process to its legitimate, respectful status. Are you part of the solution or the problem?

Sincerely, Mark Dixon

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ICYMI: TUSK Representatives Discuss Solar Energy Choice in Arizona

Jason Rose of Rose, Moser & Allyn Public Relations and Court Rich of The Rose Law Group, discuss the monopolistic utility challenges to solar energy choice in Arizona on AZ PBS’ Horizon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tclm7ER6SRs&feature=share&list=UU_p64g9Ke-gfdR7d-EnYFNQ

Arizona Republican Icon Barry Goldwater, Jr. Gives Voice to Efforts to Save Arizona Solar Choice

Tell Utilities Solar Won't Be Killed

Effort To Stop APS From Killing Independent Solar In AZ Takes To Radio

(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) Following in his father’s footsteps as a conservative trailblazer in Arizona, Barry Goldwater Jr. is standing up to utility monopolies to preserve Arizona’s rooftop solar industry.

The voice of T.U.S.K (Tell Utilities Solar won’t be Killed), Goldwater can now be heard valley-wide in a new radio commercial that urges energy consumers to stand up to Arizona Public Service (APS). Goldwater and T.U.S.K oppose efforts by APS to extinguish rooftop solar in Arizona by trying to eliminate a cornerstone policy called net metering.

To listen to the commercial click here. To learn more about T.U.S.K. visit www.dontkillsolar.com

Net metering ensures that customers with rooftop solar get fair market credit from APS for any extra power they return to the grid. Conservatives in Arizona have stood up for school choice and healthcare choice, and now they are standing up for energy choice.

If APS pulls the plug on net metering, thousands of jobs would be lost. Businesses would suffer. Schools that utilize net metering will be sending more tax dollars to APS. Consumers would pay more.

“Energy choice is the American way. It’s the Republican way. And it’s the way to energy independence,” said Goldwater. We can’t allow monopolies to end consumer choice by changing the rules at the Arizona Corporation Commission.”

Barry Goldwater Jr. served 14 years in Washington and amassed expertise in energy, the space program, aviation and defense and government procurement. Goldwater was particularly instrumental in all facets of energy policy and research and development, including authoring the Solar Photovoltaic Act.

T.U.S.K. believes that rooftop solar is similar to a charter school—it provides a competitive alternative to the monopoly. Monopoly utilities aren’t known for reducing costs or for driving business innovation, but the Arizona solar industry is. Solar companies have a track record of aggressive cost reduction in Arizona. The more people use rooftop solar, the less power they need to buy from the utilities. Energy independence for Arizonans means smaller profits for the utilities, so APS is doing everything it can to stop solar.

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Americans for Prosperity Foundation – Arizona Releases 2013 Local Government Scorecard

Americans for Prosperity Foundation - Arizona

AFPF-Arizona’s Local Government Scorecard for the 2013 fiscal year (its 6th annual local scorecard) covers 106 Arizona cities, counties and special-purpose taxing districts, and 670 local officials.  The Scorecard grades local officials on overall budgets, property tax levies and sales tax changes, and includes yearly scores for current officials going back to the 2008 fiscal year, as well as cumulative averages.  AFPF-Arizona’s Local Government Scorecard for the 2013 fiscal year comes out at a time when many local governments in Arizona are finalizing tax and budget plans for the 2014 fiscal year. View the scorecard at this link: http://americansforprosperityfoundation.com/arizona/legislativealerts/1000-2/

Arizona Stands for Health Care Freedom!

AZAgainstObamacare

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Updated AZ Conservative Coalition Legislator Ratings

Updated Ratings!!!

Arizona Conservative Coalition Republican Legislator Rankings

Legislative Actions as of 4/12/2013 Last Updated 4/16/2013

Narrative:

Two bills were added to the evaluation after being brought to our attention by members of the legislature. Although it is late in the session, both bills are well within our policy guidelines indicating the type of weight they would receive.

HB2341 reduces government regulation on remodeling homes when significant structural changes are not being made. We weighted this (+5) because it actually rolls back government regulation. If it had been brought to our attention earlier in the session, it would have gotten a higher weight because the information would have been available before the votes. However, reducing regulations on citizens is a consistent policy objective we espouse.

SB1223 eliminates Fish and Wildlife fees being set by the legislature and assigns that responsibility to an unelected board. This is an obvious attempt to bypass rules that require the legislature to get two thirds majorities to raise taxes and fees. We have consistently told legislators we would weight any bills that delegate the legislature’s taxing authority to the executive branch of government as (-10). That is the weight assigned to SB1223.

The weight on SB1437, a bill for establishing licensing for music therapists, was changed from (-6) to (-5) because an amendment adopted in the House slightly improved the bill by addressing one of our concerns. The weight of (-5) still indicates we oppose the bill as we cannot see that it is an appropriate role for the government to help certain groups of professionals and/or businesses either form cartels, restrict competition, or use the government to provide them with a seal of approval or respectability.

The number of bills being tracked is now 254 plus 3 Strike All amended bills. There were some changes in scores – especially a general move downward in the Senate.

These are NOT final scores for the session until our final report after the session ends!

We encourage conservative activists to use these weekly evaluations as a way to work with legislators to achieve more conservative results in the legislative session.

The legislation causing the most lowering of scores is HB2047 combined with HB2045 which switches Arizona from the AIMS standard to the Common Core standard. Our concern is that Common Core surrenders state autonomy on education to the federal government and promotes nationalization of education well beyond the proper scope of the federal government. In addition, the curriculum associated with Common Core relies on an international perspective instead of traditional study of American and World history. HB2425 was passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor.

Other bills having a significant negative impact on scores remove significant limitations on school district spending or increase government regulation of businesses. Many Republican legislators have argued that good business regulations that “make people do the right thing” are good. This, unfortunately, is almost a perfect definition of fascism which Republicans traditionally oppose. There are always situations where we might wish others would deal with us on terms of our choosing when they are not willing to do so. Using government to force people to deal with us on our terms rather than mutually agreed upon terms is tyranny even if it is dressed up as consumer protection or professional responsibility or trying to improve market efficiency. Of course, in a free economy, people can decide for themselves what is good and make decisions on that basis as both consumers and businesses. Also, government regulations usually have unintended consequences that are usually bad. These consequences are then used to justify still more regulation when less regulation is the best solution.

To look at the AZ Conservative Coalition home page, click on Home Page.

To look at the legislator scores, click on legislative report.

For bills used in evaluation, click on bill weights.

For Frequently Asked Questions, click on FAQs.

 

Uninsured May Have Better Access to Care than Medicaid Patients, Survey Shows

Reposted from AAPSonline.org

The public relations campaign to support Medicaid expansion frequently uses testimony by patients with serious medical conditions who have lost their private insurance. It is assumed that once they qualify for Medicaid, they will easily get their chemotherapy, hepatitis c treatment, or defibrillator battery replacement.

“The messages talk only about coverage, not care,” states Jane Orient, M.D., executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). “But the real question is whether Medicaid provides access to care.”

An internet survey of AAPS members shows that about 47% of respondents think that it is more difficult for a Medicaid patient, compared with an uninsured patient, to get an appointment with a primary-care physician. Only 26% thought that the uninsured had more difficulty. For specialist appointments, 44% thought uninsured patients were better off, and 32% thought Medicaid patients were better off. Only 2% thought that Medicaid patients had “no problem” getting an appointment with a specialist.

When asked, “How easy is it for a Medicaid beneficiary to obtain drugs, medical equipment, or diagnostic tests?”, 48% said it could be “extremely difficult,” 27% said “moderately difficult at times,” and only 13% said it was “no problem.”

Of 166 respondents, 96 were physician specialists, 63 primary physicians, and 7 emergency physicians.

Open-ended comments were overwhelmingly negative about Medicaid. Rural patients who are unable to drive or travel may have no access to care at all except through charity. Some areas have no hand surgeons, endocrinologists, dentists, or rheumatologists who will accept Medicaid. Many cardiology tests, even echocardiograms on inpatients, are questioned or denied. Many drugs, even common generics, are unavailable without jumping through bureaucratic hoops. Treatment for chronic pain is especially difficult. It may be very challenging to get non-emergency surgery approved, no matter how necessary.

“Medicaid ends up as a jobs program for administrators and quasi-medical professionals,” writes one physician. “Very little of Medicaid money actually goes to the ‘health care’ part of the equation.” Another said that “poor customer service is the norm” and “excessive paperwork is routine.”

Because it may cost more to file a claim than a physician can hope to collect, physicians may lose on every Medicaid patient, and lose less if they just see the patients for free.

Stating that “denials were much more common than approvals for appropriate treatment options and diagnostic studies,” one physician concluded that “to expand such a horrendous program is insane.”

AAPS, which was founded in 1943, is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties.