PHOENIX - The nation faces tough questions in tough times, and there are people on both sides of every issue.
Arizona is no different. But who’s saying what about the issues important to Arizonans?
Each Sunday, ABC15.com debuts an Arizona issue - along with two opposing sides on the topic.
Don’t worry, you always have the opportunity to make comments at the bottom of the page. Yeah, your opinion matters too.
This week we're tackling the debate over Proposition 106, a measure headed to Arizona voters in November.
The initiative would bar any rules or regulations forcing Arizonans to participate in a mandatory health care system.
Last year, state lawmakers on a party-line vote passed HCR 2014, or the Arizona Health Care Freedom Act. It's just three pages.
But if it's passed on November's ballot, it's enough to undo much of the federal government's 2,700 page health care bill and more than a year of work.
Some argue "ObamaCare" is overreaching and gives the government too much control over citizens' personal health care. They say Arizonans should have the right not to participate in any health care system or plan without facing a penalty.
Others contend the measure is a waste of time and taxpayer money, as the federal health care law supercedes any initiative at the state level. They go on to say the federal law is beneficial to citizens, making health care more affordable to all Arizonans.
So, is Proposition 106 good or bad for Arizona?
Click "next" to read the first of two positions, "Arizona needs Prop 106"
ARIZONA NEEDS PROPOSITION 106: By Dr. Eric Novack, Chairman, Arizonans for Health Care Freedom
While the White House and Congressional Democrats have trumpeted “health care reform” as a win for every American, the truth grows more clear daily, as the buried provisions of the President’s 2,400-page new law are revealed. ObamaCare, rather than increasing access to health care and slashing our skyrocketing health care costs, is more about putting Washington bureaucrats and Big Insurance in control of your health and health care decisions.
Proposition 106 seeks to fight that theft of our liberty by removing politicians and their cronies from the health care relationship that exists between patients, their families and their doctor. A “yes” vote on Prop 106 will write two basic health care freedoms into the Arizona Constitution.
-- One, Prop 106 guarantees that all Arizonans have the right NOT to participate in any health care system or plan without facing a penalty, fine, or tax. Put simply, that means no government-mandated insurance.
-- Two, Prop 106 will guarantee that all Arizonans have the right to spend their own money to obtain legal health care services. Second opinions; additional medical treatments; life-saving legal drugs: No government bureaucrat should ever be able to tell you that your life and health are not worth it.
That’s all there is to Proposition 106. Unlike the ObamaCare law that preceded it, there’s nothing hidden, no agenda beyond trying desperately to put a stop an unprecedented theft of our liberty. As we, the grassroots supporters of Proposition 106, see it, any so-called “system” that increases bureaucratic control, raises costs, increases the national deficit and forces people, under the threat of law, to buy a privately sold product like health insurance, should never be called “reform.”
It’s likely that our opponents, especially the politicians who rarely break from the Administration and Washington orthodoxy, will try to confuse the issue when it comes to this measure, mostly by calling Prop 106 a “waste of time.” Others no doubt will falsely claim that Arizonans stand to lose their benefits or jeopardize their status with Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans’ Administration, TriCare, workmen’s compensation or the Indian Health Service. Let us be clear here: Proposition 106 in now way negates your claim to private, state or federal health services.
The truth is, ObamaCare is already being severely tested in our nation’s courts, especially on the grounds that a mandate to buy health insurance or else faces fines and penalties is a massive and unconstitutional overreach by government. Those legal challenges will be stronger if Proposition 106 passes at the polls in November.
The other truth the politicians will not tell you has to do with the nuances of the mandate. I’m talking about a few simple facts, like the hefty fines you will face if you decide not to buy government-mandated health insurance, or how health care’s new collection agency – the Internal Revenue Service – will need to hire as many as 16,000 new agents to enforce this law.
Of equal importance is the level of compulsion that is the very essence of ObamaCare. Once government forces you into something, government bureaucracy will be empowered to determine what “it” is: What should be covered, what you can do, what you cannot do, where you can and cannot seek care? The loser in that “Big Brother” scenario? The patient, because whichever groups lobby most effectively will see the disease, treatment, condition or company they represent succeed at the expense of the right thing to do.
Proposition 106 says a loud and crystal-clear “no” to such thefts of freedom. More importantly, it reaffirms the basic relationship I have come to prize as a caregiver during a health care career that has spanned more than two decades: The relationship between patient, family and doctor, between a person in need, their loved ones and a medical professional able and prepared to give the very best care possible.
No government bureaucrat 3,000 miles away and no insurance company middle manager should ever interfere with that relationship.
Join us, citizens from across Arizona, in voting Yes on Proposition 106. Let’s protect freedom and ensure that our $2 trillion health care system undergoes true “reform,” not a power grab authored by politicians, bureaucrats and the insurance companies.
Do you agree with this opinion? Add a comment below to sound off.
Click "next" to read the second position, "Prop 106 is a waste of time"
PROPOSITION 106 IS A WASTE OF TIME: By Kyrsten Sinema, Assistant House Democratic Leader
Voters will make many important decisions this November for Arizona's future.
We will choose who is the best leader to stop the bleeding of jobs from our economy. We'll decide who will bring our schools up from ranking dead last in the nation for education funding.
And then voters will pore over a dozen ballot initiatives that will decide the fate of important programs like early childhood development, photo radar and land conservation.
But Proposition 106 isn't one of decisive issues.
Unfortunately, the only purpose Prop. 106 serves is to waste voters' time and taxpayers' money.
The initiative is a referendum against the new federal health care law. This law makes health care affordable to all Arizonans and ends discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.
Prop. 106 would attempt to block health care by allowing big insurance companies to stop free breast cancer screenings and stop non-discrimination against children with debilitating diseases such as autism. They would drop coverage when they want, overcharge Americans and prevent small businesses to affordable health care plans.
But none of that matters.
Prop. 106 is completely useless because the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution establishes that laws established by Congress are the supreme law of the land. Through Proposition 106, the state may not tell the federal government what to do.
By amending the Arizona Constiution, Prop. 106 would govern laws passed in this state. However, with respect to binding the federal government, it is essentially meaningless.
Prop. 106 is just another example of the Republican-led legislature's government waste.
With so many things wrong with our state - Republicans' massive cuts to jobs, education and health care - we've to got to focus on the priorities, not ideological ballot initiatives that fail to yield results.
After two years, we are still facing the state's worst economic crisis in history. The failed leadership of Gov. Jan Brewer and Republicans have driven our state's economy down the wrong track for more than 40 years.
It's time to focus on the right priorities and get Arizona back on track.
Your vote in November will matter when you choose who to lead our state out of this crisis.
Unfortunately, it won't matter on Prop. 106.
Do you agree with this opinion? Add a comment below to sound off.
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