If Arizona sets up an ObamaCare/PPACA insurance exchange, the federal government will be enabled to impose on Arizona businesses a $2,000 per employee tax on employees who get federal subsidies through the exchange. That will hurt Arizona’s economy, and keep unemployment at dangerously high levels. To learn more about the dangers of setting up an Arizona ObamaCare insurance exchange, watch this video from WesternFreePress.com of AFP-Arizona’s September 5 debate on the AZ ObamaCare insurance exchange.
More Sept 5 exchange-related interviews are posted here.
The question we asked before the debate was, “Will anyone defend the AZ ObamaCare insurance exchange?” Another important question was, “Can anyone defend the AZ ObamaCare insurance exchange?” So far, the answer to both questions is NO.
Arguing against the exchange were two of the nation’s foremost health care policy experts: Glendale physician and health care freedom advocate Dr. Eric Novack and Cato Institute health care policy analyst Michael Cannon.
Arguing in favor of the exchange was… AFP-Arizona director Tom Jenney, wearing horns (literally) and serving as a devil’s advocate. We could not find anyone who was willing to publicly defend the exchange (or even provide testimony as an ostensibly neutral policy expert) — even after reaching out for three weeks to the Brewer Administration and the state’s health insurance lobbyists, and even after offering them equal time, an equal share of the audience, and the appointment of a pro-exchange co-moderator for the debate. Despite the fact that there are literally dozens of registered lobbyists in this state who do work for the state’s health insurers and providers… (Go to the last page of this document for a list of the health care lobbyists and experts we contacted in our effort to find someone to defend the Arizona exchange.)
So, if none of the state’s insurance lobbyists is willing to publicly defend the exchange, does that mean they’re going to give up and stop lobbying Gov. Brewer and the Legislature to adopt the exchange? Unfortunately, no.
On August 31, the Coalition for an Arizona State Exchange delivered a letter to Gov. Brewer, asking her to continue supporting the exchange. Many of the signatories on the letter are local Chambers of Commerce. (We wonder if member businesses know that their Chambers are selling them out to the insurance companies and effectively asking Gov. Brewer to impose a tax of $2,000 per worker on employers to benefit insurers…) AFP-Arizona has sent an invitation to Glenn Hamer of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and the other 31 signatories to the letter, to find out if any of them is willing and able to publicly defend the exchange. We are scheduling a rematch in January or February — and will give the insurance and provider lobbyists months (months!) to find someone to defend the exchange.
We also reached out to Democratic candidates Richard Carmona, Ann Kirkpatrick and Kyrsten Sinema, who have all expressed support for ObamaCare (which they call the “Affordable Care Act”). No luck.
For more about the exchange, be sure to read AFP-Arizona’s op-ed on the ObamaCare insurance exchange from the August 22 edition of the Arizona Republic.