June 16, 2015
As the eyes of the nation await the Supreme Court’s imminent ruling, 36 members of the Arizona Legislature, including myself, took time to sign the following letter, encouraging Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader McConnell not to bail out the flawed and harmful law that is Obamacare, but to enact health care policies that benefit all Americans.
April 17, 2015
Dear Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell:
The state of Arizona, and the entire nation, is awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on the King v. Burwell case challenging the legality of taxpayer-funded subsidies for enrollees in federally-run health insurance exchanges established through the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare.
Arizona declined to establish and fund a state-run exchange. We were unwilling to subject Arizonans to the high operating costs, expanded bureaucracy, additional employer mandates, narrower provider networks, and greater Internal Revenue Service intrusion that would result from creating such an exchange.
Our position has not changed, and it will not change. [Read more]
April 17, 2015
One State Leads fight for Health Care Freedom – Arizona
- HB 2643 Stopping Obamacare in Arizona: States shouldn’t try to save the Obamacare subsidies and HB 2643 ensures Arizona doesn’t try. The new law prohibits the state and all of its political subdivisions from using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer, or cooperate with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). See John Graham’s latest on Arizona (NCPA).
- HB 2417 (formerly SB 1284 ) Paying Directly for care just got better: Higher insurance premiums, deductibles & co-pays plus narrow provider networks are costing patients more. By paying directly.…market forces come into play and patients can pay much less. With HB 2417, paying directly will be even more cost effective as the law ensures insurance companies cooperate when patients go out of network for covered services by applying their payments to the in-network deductible.
- SB 1039 Expands Health Care Sharing Option: The cost of health insurance continues to skyrocket – and if Obamacare subsidies come to a halt if ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, even more people will be seeking affordable health care options. HCSMs are exempt from the Affordable Care Act and they’re actually affordable. SB 1039 aligns the state and federal definitions of HCSMs so that more people can take advantage of this option. Read more: Alliance for Health Care Sharing Ministries.
- HB 2645 Laboratory Testing Without Order – The lab industry will never be the same thanks to some serious free market interventions in Arizona: Less regulation a-la HB 2645, allowing patients to pursue lab tests without a doctor’s prescription – and an innovative company named Theranos which offers patients more value for less cost and less blood is a winning combination. If you haven’t heard of Theranos’ Founder & CEO Elizabeth Holmes, you soon will! Many Arizonans are already benefiting from the Theranos/Walgreens partnership at 40 locations across the state.
- SB 1320 Cosmetology Board can’t license makeup Artists – Should people who apply makeup & eyelashes have to have a license to do business? SB 1320 makes sure they don’t in Arizona. Chalk one up for keeping government from inhibiting entry into yet another business field. Read about another ‘Fishy Regulation’ this Board is being sued over.
Addressing the over-prescribing epidemic: More than 100 people die each day due to legal prescription opioid overdose in the U.S. SB 1032 requires Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) contractors to intervene if a member has 10 or more prescriptions for controlled substances within a three-month period. [Read more]
January 3, 2015
The “business” of government regulation is booming – and it’s crushing real businesses.
Yes, we’re still the financial capital of the world with a GDP of $16.7 trillion last year, nearly a quarter of the global total, but we’re falling further behind every year and regulators have a lot to do with it.
According to Forbes.com, “The U.S. ranks 18th in Forbes’ ninth annual ranking of the Best Countries for Business, down four spots from last year. It marks the fifth straight year of declines since 2009, when the U.S. ranked second.”
Government isn’t supposed to work this way. Let’s change it!
Which is why I’m sponsoring the Regulation Freedom Amendment this session: [Read more]
October 1, 2014
Proposition 480: Blank check or a shot in the arm for Arizona?
Have you noticed the new hospitals being built in the valley over the past 10 years? Why are we doubling down on a taxpayer – funded hospital that competes with them? It makes no sense to increase taxes on small businesses that have seen their taxes rise 30% between 2009 and 2013 and are barely recovering from the recession. Read this piece from the experts at the Arizona Tax Research Association – Arizona’s taxpayer watchdogs. Further reading: Vote No on Prop. 480; it’s expensive and unwise and Vote No on 480
Proposition 487: Pension Reform or shenanigans? [Read more]
June 3, 2014
SB 1379 – Removing health care red tape: In addition to their jobs, many physicians & other health care professionals regularly treat those in need of care for free but are unable to access or pay for it – but state licensing restrictions make it more difficult for them to do so within our own country than across the oceans. SB 1379 streamlines the process for voluntary health professionals wishing to serve in Arizona. SIGNED by the Governor.
SB 1308 – Obamacare Navigator Oversight: Navigators and (CACs) Certified Application Counselors – those assisting with health insurance sign-ups through the Obamacare Exchanges – have access to a plethora of sensitive financial information. SB 1308 & HB 2508 – a House version proposed by Rep. Lovas, help hold them accountable and will reduce the likelihood of ID theft and fraud by requiring background checks and licensure. Read more on this issue here. SIGNED by the Governor.
SB 1225 – Women deserve more than the “happy-gram” – more important, lives will be saved as a result of SB 1225. Here’s the story: According to the American College of Radiology, about 50% of women have dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue makes it harder for doctors to see cancer on mammograms because both dense breast tissue and tumors look white. Consequently, normal dense breast tissue can hide masses or tumors. Thanks to SB 1225, women with dense breast tissue will be told this information and be better informed about whether to seek additional diagnostics. Read Barto press release here. Learn more at AreYouDense.org. SIGNED by the Governor. [Read more]
June 2, 2014
Of my 23 Prime Sponsored bills, 15 were signed into law this session. All passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support, if not unanimously.
At 65%, that is the highest % of bills passed by a lawmaker this session. Here’s the Arizona Capitol Times piece: Barto, Lovas lead in percentage of bills signed into law.
I am proud of these successes because each of them address concerns that are important to our state – and don’t increase the scope of government. In fact, in many cases, they reduced regulation, solved a critical issue, expanded consumer information or choice or kept an “out-of-control” board government agency in check. Here are some examples: [Read more]
May 30, 2014
Wouldn’t you want the option to try an experimental drug that might save or extend your life?
That option may be up to YOU, the Arizona voter. This session, after learning what terminal patients go through to even be considered for a clinical trial to test drugs in the FDA pipeline, the Arizona Legislature passed HCR 2005 , also known as the Terminal Patients Right-to-Try Act. The measure allows patients diagnosed as terminal greater access to potentially life-saving drugs that have not completed final FDA approval. The approval we’re talking about are drugs or therapies that have passed Stage 1, which means the drug won’t cause further harm to the patient, but the efficacy and side effects haven’t been fully vetted. [Read more]
April 13, 2014
Common Core standards are being implemented in Arizona. In Arizona, they are called Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards. And yes, Parents, educators and Legislators ARE concerned and for good reason. And what about Arizona’s sudden withdrawal from PARCC? Check out this article and these links to a Common Core Q and A.
Are the CC standards internationally benchmarked? Who is behind the CC? Why did the only educators on the 30 member Validation Committee refuse to sign off on the CC standards? Get up to speed – Watch the recently released documentary, “Building the Machine”. [Read more]
April 13, 2014
Courts uphold Empowerment Scholarship Accounts
On October 1st the Arizona Court of Appeals upheld Arizona’s landmark Education Savings Accounts 3-0, again denying teachers’ unions efforts to strike down this school choice program and affirming that public education is not for everyone. And in March the Arizona Supreme Court upheld the ruling – delivering a major victory to parents & students.
Adopted in Arizona in 2011, ESAs allow parents to direct their education tax dollars from a scholarship account designed to pay for private school tuition, online classes, educational therapies, tutoring, college tuition, and more for their children. Eligible children include students in failing schools, with special-needs, and those adopted out of the state foster system. This decision ensures that families who are relying on this innovative educational opportunity can continue to do so. [Read more]
October 24, 2013
As a patient you ASSUME your doctor was properly vetted before he began practicing medicine in Arizona and treating your family. That may not be the case. A recently released 192 page Ombudsman investigative report substantiated that the AMB’s Executive Director Lisa Wynn and Deputy Director Amanda Diehl knowingly disregarded 28 licensing rules and statutes resulting in 2,041 physicians’ licenses granted in Arizona over an 18 month period without proper vetting of their credentials – and thousands more renewing their licenses. Credentials like physicians’ medical education, hospital employment, if they had any disciplinary actions pending and more.
You can thank the whistleblowers. [Read more]