Arizona’s Medical Insurance Stands Enfeebled by Lawmakers

Arizona’s Medical Insurance Stands Enfeebled by Lawmakers

Insuring the rich while depriving the poor could be termed as the present scenario in Arizona. The recent attempts by Arizona’s Legislature to overturn Medicaid benefits available to its citizens, brought out the Janus-faced approach of the government.

It is rather disquieting that a country where a major percentage of government servants, in particular lawmakers, draw benefits out of government-subsidized healthcare plans, the same are being revoked from its low-income residents.

The Legislature has passed measures, withdrawing from citizens the power to insure themselves medically. These measures disallow Arizona from setting in place a marketplace for provision of subsidized healthcare packages to its citizens and also seek to limit lifetime Medicaid eligibility, thus, creating a huge demand-supply gap.

Meanwhile, the lawmakers continue to enjoy their government-sponsored insurance cover, which is one of the major state-funded initiatives of the nation. As many as 25-30 senators and 45-60 representatives have registered themselves to draw benefits out of government-funded healthcare plans. The advantages, which accrue to them, are way higher and less costly than those available to ordinary citizens by insuring themselves with private insurers.

In spite of this, the lawmakers are leaving no stone unturned to curtail such benefits to citizens. Recently, a group of 36 state lawmakers of the Republican Party filed a lawsuit to contain the expansion of Medicaid benefits to 330,000 low-income residents. On another occasion, the House Bill 2643 was signed by Governor Doug Ducey last month, which prevented Arizona from setting up its own Affordable Care Act health-insurance marketplace. Another bill called the Senate Bill 1092 was also passed, which had the effect of limiting lifetime eligibility and imposing work requirements on the residents.

Owing to all the above pitfalls, Arizona’s final Medicaid contract would not become be finalized before October 2016.

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