January 2011 Update

February 1, 2011 by  

This week U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson agreed with 26 states (and a Virginia Judge) that Congress overstepped Constitutional authority by requiring Americans to purchase health insurance.  What’s more, he declared the entire act unconstitutional

It takes more than opposing bad healthcare reforms to fix the problems in health care, however.  For starters, it will require opening up insurance markets to more competition and significant tort reform to change Arizona’s medical malpractice environment – curbing costly unnecessary defensive medicine practices to avoid frivolous malpractice lawsuits.  To those ends I sponsored these four major reforms:

  • Purchase Health Insurance Across State Lines (SB 1593)
  • Pooling by Choice – low cost option for small employers (SB 1590)
  • Insurance Data Transparency (SB 1591)
  • Raise burden of proof standard to “clear and convincing” for all medical professionals (SB 1031)

What’s on tap for this first week in February?

  • Fixing the Budget – last week Senators considered the Dept. of Health (Read the Governor’s plan for funding the Seriously Mentally Ill) and Community Colleges budgets.  Today the Senate Appropriations Com.  considers the AHCCCS budget.   
  • Debt Relief Constitutional Amendment (SCR 1016) will be heard Thursday at 9:00 a.m.  this week.  Arizona is one of 9 states (so far) proposing an amendment to our Constitution forcing Congress to resolve our $14 Trillion Federal debt. The measure states:  “An increase in the federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate states.”     To read more about this effort, see www.RestoringFreedom.org.
  • Medical Marijuana – the new draft rules are out.  To read, click here.  More public input is welcome during this second comment period.

 Highlights from last week:

  • Clarifying HOA authority regarding public roadways (SB 1170) was heard in Senate Government Committee last Wednesday, but was held.  Educating new Legislators is half the battle.  A huge THANK YOU to all who called, e-mailed and attended the hearing.  Your support is critical. 
  • Abby’s Law  – (SB 1118) passed Senate Health Committee last week.  This bill will help ensure no family endures a mistake identity tragedy like that of the families of Abby Guerra and Marlena Cantu last summer:  The heart-wrenching case where Abbey’s family was told their daughter was deceased until nearly a week had passed before discovering it was Marlena who had passed away.
  • Celebrating School Choice – Governor Brewer unveiled the new School Choice Website to help Arizona parents navigate the education options available to their child.  Have you seen “The Lottery”?  Legislators were invited to a lunchtime viewing of the film sponsored by the School Choice Association.  The compelling documentary uncovers the failures of the traditional public school system, following the lives of four students who have only one chance among thousands to win a better educational future.
  • United for Life – I was honored to address a great group of Americans United for Life last Wednesday at lunchtime, updating advocates on the pro-family bills on tap for 2011.  See this CAP update for bill details.  

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