It was this time last year when Arizonans and many throughout the country waited to see what Gov. Jan Brewer would do regarding SB1070. We received that answer on April 23, 2010. By April 21, 2011, we will see if Arizona will once again lead the nation in establishing true freedom of choice in health insurance by inviting business across state lines.
SB1593 would open up a free market solution in health insurance options with other states as pointed out by Tom Jenney from Americans For Prosperity in the following post: http://www.americansforprosperity.org/041511-tell-gov-brewer-let-my-people-go-urgent (I urge you all to pass his information and pdf file along).
Some concern has also been raised about the bill even among those who supported it.
AZ State Rep. Terri Proud introduced the Proud Amendment to maintain coverage for Autism treatments of children. The bill passed on April 13 without the addition of the Proud Amendment, and some in the GOP dominated state house have concerns about mandates being excluded as SB1593 eliminates more than two dozen according to The Sierra Vista Herald (4/18/2011). Proud and other members are concerned that insurance companies outside of the state would not offer coverage for these indivduals either which is a completely valid point. Apparently, there was also a dispute on the charges the Autism mandate incurred on insurance in Arizona. Rep. Jack Harper (R-Surprise) stated the requirement added $50 to the cost of insurance per individual while Rep. Terri Proud (R-Tucson) stated it was no more than $12 a year (The Sierra Vista Herald, 4/18/2011). In my conversation with Rep. Proud last night, she stated Harper said it was $2oo – he may have been using an example of $200 per family of four; I will certainly welcome and update any information offered in this post if Rep. Proud, Rep. Harper or other members would like to contact me on the matter.
There may indeed be out-of-state coverage that does not serve certain conditions, but I am also the sort who sees an opportunity in the free market and the states coming together on these matters.
Obviously, we all want the best for ourselves and our fellow man. No one wants to see those with specific needs or illnesses without coverage and care. What I see is an opportunity for those with specific needs being able to actually get a policy and/or treatment at a greatly reduced cost because we are introducing competition into this equation. Yes, there will be policies from other states that may not include specific services or coverage; however, there will be a free market solution presented as a meaningful solution instead of a coercive government mandate which has driven up costs for us all. This is purely my humble opinion in the matter, but I have more faith in the business and medical communities coming together with individuals to work out solutions. There will still be some regulation at the state levels but SB1593 offers a new approach in how we use, purchase, create and even think about insurance. It may also influence whether we continue offering employer-based options or purchase solely on an individual basis as we do auto and home insurance. Some who fear employers will only offer a ‘cheap’ package need not worry. Again, the invisible hand of the free market will take care of such instances.
The bill’s architect, Sen. Nancy Barto (R-Phoenix), commented that businesses who fail to offer insurance with adequate coverage would find difficulty in maintaining qualified workers. Other state reps hold the view that once costs come down for insurance, the need for employers to supply the coverage may be eliminated as individuals will be able to purchase for themselves.
We also cannot ignore the fact Obamacare is on the horizon and there will be greatly reduced access – even rationing of care – for the very individuals we want to see protected right now. Certain cancer treatments for women are already being shelved. That is why immediate and yes, ‘drastic’ action must take place at the state level. We must also be mindful of the fact we do have a president and administration who do not mean our state well, so there will be more trouble from them. We are also in a pickle economically throughout the nation and that can inhibit some of the normal activity we would expect from the free market, but it’s also all the more reason to act now and do so with unwavering faith! We MUST counter what’s happening to our state budgets, our insurance and healthcare costs and influence a movement against Obamacare nationally. GAME ON!
I urge TAMs in Arizona to contact Gov. Brewer’s office today, tomorrow and Thursday (if she waits until then) by email and phone to sign SB1593 into law (please see the above link for contact information).
I am so very confident that we, as decent people, can better serve our needs and help our more vulnerable members in the human family when we are free to do so. All we need is to have the human will within us to do what’s right and the burdensome obstacles to affordable, accessible and reality-based insurance options lifted.
Governor Brewer, this is your moment to shatter the glass ceiling. Do it! Tear down that wall!