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Arizonans agree that health insurance is a top issue this election

Posted at 2:16 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 21:59:28-05

PHOENIX — Arizonans agree that health insurance is a top issue this election year. According to the Arizonans Speak 2019 survey by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy, 77 percent of those polled agree health insurance is a top issue.

Along with health insurance, water quality, and public education rounded out the top three issues this year.

ABC15 is dedicated to Your Voice, Your Vote and the struggle in Arizona for affordable healthcare.

Arizona native, Erik Sanchez, is struggling with severe spine issues that make his legs like spaghetti.

“I’ve busted my head, busted my lips, I broke my closets from falling,” he said.

Sanchez, on state health care, says it’s a fight for coverage and affordable coverage.

“My doctors get more denials for the things I need than they get acceptances,” said Sanchez.

A 2019 Kaiser Foundation study found one in five people say someone in their house has been contacted by a collection agency in the past 12 months.

“I should have healthcare that’s accessible, that’s affordable,” he said

Along with the fight for affordable healthcare is the fight for coverage. In Arizona, not everything is covered by health insurance. Items that are not covered can include long-term care similar to nursing homes, prescriptions, and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

The fight for IVF coverage has started taking shape before legislators in Arizona. In the past year, a senate finance committee heard from dozens seeking IVF coverage.

Elizabeth Marshall, Phoenix, recently had her sixth miscarriage and found out that she can not have a baby without treatment.

Her health insurance provider only paid for the diagnosis, but not for IVF rounds. In total, she has spent around $30,000.

Marshall has made the difficult decision to stop treatment, as the cost is too much. To help in the grieving process, she has started advocating for coverage at the state level.

Advocates for IVF coverage say that 75 percent of patients do not proceed with treatment because of the cost.

If coverage is passed, could it raise insurance rates? A man who spoke before the Senate committee on behalf of two insurance companies told legislators that there is an insurance affordability crisis and adding coverage could make premiums go up.

Right now in Arizona, the latest numbers show 750,000 people in the Grand Canyon State are uninsured.

And, with health insurance a top issue, it will be a top campaign promise this election year.