House Democrats: Brewer/GOP waiver ‘irresponsible’, time for accountability
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX –House Democrats are holding Republicans accountable today for passing an irresponsible bill that attempts to undermine the will of Arizona voters and take away health care from nearly 300,000 more Arizonans.
Gov. Jan Brewer’s special session bill will send a waiver to the federal government to overturn a voter-approved initiative for health care, but likely will be unsuccessful.
"This is just more of the same irresponsible, failed policies that got us into this mess in the first place,” said House Minority Leader Chad Campbell. “It's another gimmick that does nothing to actually balance our budget, and it's a waste of taxpayers’ time and money to pass the buck instead of acting now on real solutions to solve our state’s budget deficit."
Cuts funding that will result in 42,000 jobs lost (Arizona Chamber of Commerce study from last year's similar proposal to eliminate Prop 204 funded populations).
Eliminates health care for 280,000 people — including 5,200 seriously mentally ill — at a time when tragic evidence shows how dangerous it can be to allow those on the margins of society to fall through the cracks.
Forfeits more than $1 billion in federal tax dollars that Arizonans deserve to have back in our state for our needs, by eliminating the General Fund portion of the Prop 204 funding (via this waiver).
Asks the federal government for permission to enact cuts that are unconstitutional and in violation of Arizona's Prop 105, the "Voter Protection Act"; those eligible for the health care that would be cut by this waiver were given eligibility for AHCCCS under Prop 204, a voter-approved measure.
“This waiver is not on your side,” said House Minority Whip Matt Heinz, a hospital physician. “By seeking this waiver, they are putting trauma centers in southern Arizona and other parts of the state at risk. It’s time to hold them accountable to We the People.”
While nearly 100 Arizonans’ lives are still at risk because Republicans eliminated life-saving transplants and no action has been taken, Republicans continue to cut health care, including for the seriously mentally ill instead of considering other options, like closing tax loopholes that allow country-club memberships and facelifts to go tax free.
“It’s time for some accountability here at the state capitol and a good government, a government that is transparent and a responsive, efficient government,” said Rep. Lynne Pancrazi, D-Yuma (District 24), whose district includes rural hospitals. “This waiver only puts our rural hospitals at risk in an area where we barely have enough doctors and floods our emergency rooms with the uninsured.”