Barto on Obamacare Med. Expansion
June 24, 2013 by nancy_barto
Many members of the House & Senate argued eloquently against the Governor’s Obamacare Medicaid Expansion plan. Watch American Commitment’s video online here. The following are mine:
Like many of our constituents, today I am extremely disappointed and saddened that our state – the State of Arizona – is willingly imposing this key provision of Obamacare – expansion of government health care – upon its citizens. This after standing as an example to dozens of states that followed our lead in passing health care freedom initiatives guaranteeing citizens’ rights to health care freedom. But now – even after the Supreme Court gave states like ours the choice to reject it, this body is going in exactly the opposite direction – committing our state to Obamacare instead of promoting health care reforms that could actually lower the cost of health care and insurance and protect our failing safety net.
And we are doing so unconstitutionally - by raising taxes without a constitutionally-required 2/3 vote of this legislature. In fact, at no time has this Obamacare expansion plan even gone through Rules Committee scrutiny to discover whether a vote without a Prop. 108 is constitutional and in proper form – as virtually all other bills are required to do.
Of course, the citizens of this state will have their day in court on this, no doubt.
But our people are going to be hurt in other ways if this proposal passes today. Those making between 100-138% of the Federal Poverty Level will be forced onto GOVERNMENT health care – Medicaid when instead – if Arizona opts out of expansion – citizens could obtain PRIVATE insurance in the exchanges and qualify for subsidies. And make no mistake – that would be much better because it allows for choices in private insurance and more timely health care. Instead, this group will be denied these choices.
In addition, this bill, if enacted, is going to expand funding for organizations that provide abortion on demand in Arizona and, unless Arizona wins the day in court on this issue – we will have NO SAY on this in the future. Most Arizonans oppose their tax dollars from going to Planned Parenthood and others that provide abortions. But here we are – once again – putting ourselves at the mercy of the Federal Government on this issue – and doing so willingly.
Arizona should be funding health care for the poor within our means and on our own terms. Taxpayers can’t afford Obamacare Expansion. We’re already aware that nearly .50 of every Federal dollar spent is borrowed. But what we are obviously overlooking is how truly unsustainable that is for both the Federal Government AND THE STATES. While Medicaid accounts for more than 20% of total state budgets, it also represents the largest single source of federal funding to the states. The Federal government finances 50% to 83% of Medicaid costs, and though Arizona won’t save the Federal multi-trillion $ budget deficit singlehandedly, together states are already making a dent.
The 18 states that have opted out so far will save $424 BILLION in Federal spending over the next 8 years. With the 12 undecided states, if all 30 states refuse Obamacare, that would amount to more than $609 BILLION in total savings. A drop in the bucket? That’s more than SEVEN TIMES the $85 Billion in 2013 sequester cuts and more than half the projected federal deficit for this fiscal year.
Rather than listen to those who will benefit financially from this huge influx of taxpayer money – to the tune of $1.6 BILLION, and in light of the questionable legality and practicality of any circuit breaker, Arizona Legislators should heed the voices on the ground in Washington who know the Federal fiscal picture up close and personal - like that of Congressman David Schweikert on the issue, who issued this statement in OPPOSITION on Monday. [Barto reads statement]
For these and many additional reasons, I oppose the Obamacare Medicaid expansion contained in SB 2010.