Mid-session Senate News
February 24, 2015 by nancy_barto
And there’s plenty of good news to report. Here are some highlights on Barto-sponsored & supported bills:
- Good News for Patients. SB 1284 – passed the Senate 23-6 last week, moving on to the House. Under the Obamacare mandates, patients are faced with a whole new set of challenges – including incredibly high deductibles and narrower physician networks. SB 1284 will help patients avoid having to pay twice to satisfy their insurance deductibles if they have to (or choose to) pay directly for covered health care outside their networks. The cash payments could apply under the same rules in current law, which passed in 2013.
- Student Civics Requirement. Shouldn’t every high school graduate know who is in charge of the Executive branch of the Government? Believe it or not, many don’t! The first bill signed into law this session will make passing the same Civics Test required for new U.S. citizens mandatory for Arizona students, too: SB 1029. Check out the test yourself at www.citizenshiptestus.com.
- Good News for LIFE and Taxpayers! 85% of Americans abhor their tax dollars paying for elective abortions, yet 41 out of the 199 Arizona health plans in the health care exchange include abortion coverage and taypayers ARE paying for them. SB 1318 stops subsidized elective abortions in the Obamacare federal exchange plans. The bill passed the Senate on 17-12 and awaits a hearing in the House. Learn the details: Fact Sheet.
- Good News for the Welfare State. How is it that between 1983 and 2012 population increased by 83 million and yet people accepting means-tested benefits increased by 67 million? In fact, the fastest growing source of personal income in America are welfare entitlements. SB 1092, which passed the Senate 17-12 today can potentially help reduce disincentives to work by adding work requirements to Arizona’s Medicaid program, as well as sensible cost-sharing and caps on the number of years one can receive these benefits. Federal regulators just approved cost-sharing elements in Indiana’s Medicaid waiver a few weeks ago. Arizona should be asking for the same and other common sense reforms so the program is sustainable for those who truly need it. Read Who’s on Welfare?
- Good News for Businesses! SB 1241 will ensure AHCCCS providers of in-home support services, which benefit seniors and save taxpayers millions of dollars, can choose how they conduct their businesses. A 2015 National Federation of Independent Business – (NFIB) priority bill, the legislation passed the Senate today 25-4 – and moves to the House.
- Good News/Bad News: SCM 1005 – the Regulation Freedom Amendment urges Congress to put the brakes on excessive Federal regulations. See Government isn’t supposed to work this way. The bill passed the Senate Committee, but has not been scheduled for floor votes yet by Sen. President Biggs, who has not committed to doing so (Bad news for moving our Republican form of government back to Constitutional sanity). Read more about the Liberty Amendments and what they entail. All states, especially Arizona, should get on board!
- Good News – CO 2 is good for the Environment! Last week Craig Idso from the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change presented the latest on global climate change before the Senate Federal Mandates & Fiscal Responsibility Committee. You can check out the facts, too, at CO 2 Science.org, which is regularly updated with new information.
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