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Arizona will NOT have more control under an AZ ObamaCare exchange

March 20, 2012

Thanks to everyone who has written to their state Legislators, asking them to sign the Arizona Health Care Freedom Pledge to STOP the ObamaCare exchange in Arizona.

Please let us know how your Legislators respond to your message by emailing AFP-Arizona at tjenney@afphq.org. Under the influence of insurance-company lobbyists, many Legislators have been led to believe that Arizona will somehow have more control over its insurance market if we set up an ObamaCare exchange here. There are at least three answers to that argument:

1) How is that Medicaid/AHCCCS thing working out for you? In these federal-State health “partnerships,” Arizona has no control whatsoever. Every time Arizona wants to do something different, it must go to the federal HHS (i.e., Kathleen Sebelius) and ask for a waiver. And even if HHS is disposed to grant us some wiggle room, the federal courts can still tell us No.

2) The very act of setting up an Arizona exchange will help ObamaCare to survive in Congress and avoid repeal. Right now, as the legislation is written, the addictive federal subsidies can only go through State-created exchanges. If Arizonans become addicted to ObamaCare subsidies, and if ObamaCare survives as a result, health care freedom in America is ultimately doomed–so much for state control!

3) There is no guarantee that Arizona’s exchange bureaucracy will actually allow Arizona health insurance consumers more freedom than the federal bureaucracy will. Arizona government already puts a relatively large number of mandates on private insurance, compared to many other States, and our Medicaid system (AHCCCS) is already has one of the highest eligibility thresholds in the country (i.e., we allow people with relatively higher incomes to get on government-subsidized health insurance). Under ObamaCare, the States will be allowed to add more mandates than the federal requirements, but they will not be allowed to have any fewer mandates. Based on past experience, there is strong chance that an Arizona ObamaCare exchange will actually put more mandates on plans than the federal government requires–resulting in higher costs and less freedom for insurance shoppers.

For Liberty, Tom

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

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