Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is postponing when she’ll decide whether Arizona will create a state-run insurance exchange as part of implementing the federal health law (Obamacare) that she opposes. Brewer’s office disclosed the postponement on the issue late Thursday after the federal Department of Health and Human Services extended the deadline until mid-December. Governor Brewer said prior this month that she would be making her decision this past Friday. But my suspicion is that Governor Brewer is receiving lots of phone calls, e-mails and letters from Arizona citizens stating their disapproval of the federal health care law.
The current list of States NOT establishing a State Exchange are,
ALABAMA, ALASKA, GEORGIA, INDIANA, KANSAS, LOUISIANA, MAINE, MISSOURI, MONTANA, NEBRASKA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NORTH DAKOTA, OHIO, SOUTH CAROLINA, SOUTH DAKOTA, TEXAS, VIRGINIA, WISCONSIN, WYOMING
Business groups, hospitals and insurance companies have urged Brewer to create a state-run exchange, which would be subject to approval. The Goldwater Institute and other conservatives say the state should not help implement the law and have threatened to take legal action and sue if she decides to approve the state health exchange .
The exchange would serve as an online marketplace for the consumers to purchase their health coverage, which approximately 1.3 million people in Arizona currently lack. An alternative to having the state create and run an exchange would be to allow the federal government to set up one for Arizona with the state stepping aside. Or she could possibly propose a partnership between the two levels of government.
But the people of Arizona, which Governor Brewer is suppose to represent, are upset with what should be an easy decision made by the Governor. In 2010, Arizona passed Proposition 106 which amended the Arizona constitution. If Brewer were to implement any portion of the state health exchange (Obamacare) she will be in direct violation of the Arizona constitution, article 27, section 2.
Text of Section 2:
Health Insurance Freedom
A. To preserve the freedom of Arizonans to provide for their health care:
1. A law or rule shall not compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer or health care provider to participate in any health care system. 2. A person or employer may pay directly for lawful health care services and shall not be required to pay penalties or fines for paying directly for lawful health care services. A health care provider may accept direct payment for lawful health care services and shall not be required to pay penalties or fines for accepting direct payment from a person or employer for lawful health care services.
B. Subject to reasonable and necessary rules that do not substantially limit a person’s options, the purchas or sale of health insurance in private health care systems shall not be prohibited by law or rule.
C. This section does not:
1. Affect which health care services a health care provider or hospital is required to perform or provide. 2. Affect which health care services are permitted by law. 3. Prohibit care provided pursuant to Article XVII, Section 8 of this constitution or any statutes enacted by the legislature relating to worker’s compensation. 4. Affect laws or rules in effect as of January 1, 2009. 5. Affect the terms or conditions of any health care system to the extent that those terms and conditions do not have the effect of punishing a person or employer for paying directly for lawful health care services or a health care provider or hospital for accepting direct payment from a person or employer for lawful health care services.
D. For the purposes of this section:
1. “Compel” includes penalties or fines. 2. “Direct payment or pay directly” means payment for lawful health care services without a public or private third party, not including an employer, paying for any portion of the service. 3. “Health care system” means any public or private entity whose function or purpose is the management of, processing of, enrollment of individuals for or payment for, in full or in part, health care services or health care data or health care information for its participants. 4. “Lawful health care services” means any health-related service or treatment to the extent that the service or treatment is permitted or not prohibited by law or regulation that may be provided by persons or business otherwise permitted to offer such services. 5. “Penalties or fines” means any civil or criminal penalty or fine, tax, salary or wage withholding or surcharge or any named fee with a similar effect established by law or rule by a government established, created or controlled agency that is used to punish or discourage the exercise of rights protected under this section.
Ratified on November 2, 2010 via voter approval of Proposition 106.
Throughout the year the Arizona GOP lead by Brewer, have been adamant about making sure President Obama would not get re-elected. From chanting “One Term President” and selling “Nobama” labeled bottled water at conventions to turn a profit. And although Governor Romney failed to defeat President Obama, this would seem like the perfect opportunity to “repeal” Obamacare, which was part of the platform of the republican’s nominee. Many questions are in the air about the governors decision and motivation, but one thing that can be said is many Arizona citizens are growing tired of Gov. Brewers finger waving and are ready to see her start taking action!
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