Stop unelected bureaucrats from imposing hospital bed taxes

February 27, 2013


To all Arizona Taxpayers and Health Care Consumers,

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 BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK.  Or, scroll down to the “TAKE ACTION!” section.


VIDEO FROM FEB 21 PANEL, thanks to

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 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.


Please contact your Legislators and ask 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.   CLICK HERE TO TAKE ACTION

Or, you can go to this link to find your Legislators’ emails by zip code:

Next, choose a subject line for your email.  Here are some ideas:

  • Don’t let unelected bureaucrats impose hospital bed taxes
  • Please enforce taxpayer protections under Prop 108
  • The Medicaid expansion needs a Prop 108 clause

Then, copy and paste (and edit however you like) the following text into the body of the email:

Dear Legislator:

I am writing to ask you to vote against the proposed ObamaCare Medicaid expansion, which may move as a health BRB (budget reconciliation bill) in the final budget package.  The expansion would not be good for health care freedom, and it would not be good for the long-term fiscal health of the State of Arizona.  At the very least, even if you are tempted by the short-term windfall of “free” money from Washington, please comply with the voter-imposed constitutional requirement (Prop 108) to raise taxes with a two-thirds majority.  If you use a simple majority to delegate to bureaucrats the power to impose gigantic taxes on hospital patients, you will kill Prop 108 and destroy its protections for Arizona taxpayers.  If that happens, we will blame you — not the lawyers and judges who help you carve out a gigantic loophole in Prop 108.

I know you are very busy with hundreds of other bills, so I thank you for your careful consideration of this matter.

Respectfully, (Your Name, Address and Phone Number)


On February 21, AFP-Arizona held a lunchtime panel discussion on the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion at the Goldwater Institute.

The event was supposed to be a debate.  But… despite a month’s advance notice, and despite an offer of an equal number of panelists and a pro-expansion co-moderator, none of the dozens of pro-expansion lobbyists and officials was willing to debate us publicly.  AFP-Arizona extended the invitation (and we have emails and certified mail receipts as proof) to debate to the Brewer Administration, to Brewer advisers Chuck Coughlin and Peter Burns, AHCCCS director Tom Betlach, and members of the hospital and insurance lobbies.


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.


Please help AFP-Arizona fight the battle for economic freedom in Arizona by going to and clicking on the Donate button at top.  A contribution of $10, $25, $50, or $100 would a huge boost to our efforts, and would enable us to mobilize more activists and put more pressure on elected officials.  Every little bit counts, and we can’t do what we do without great people like you standing with us.  Thank you for your support, financial and otherwise!  Let’s make 2013 a great year for free enterprise in Arizona!

For Liberty, Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
(602) 478-0146


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