Health measure actually harmful for Arizonans
Although Proposition 106 is proclaimed by supporters as being about “choice,” it more accurately is at attempt to head off a national health care system and reduce choice.
The proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution, which is on the Nov. 2 Arizona ballot, seeks to prevent any person, employer or health care provider from being compelled to participate in any health care system. It would also prohibit penalties against people or businesses who want to pay directly for health services.
A similar measure was narrowly defeated by Arizona voters two years ago, but anger over the health care reform act signed into law earlier this year is expected to stir support for Prop 106.
While the proposal may sound attractive on the surface, there are serious shortcomings.
Even if passed by the voters, it likely would be meaningless in preventing national health care in the long run. That is because courts have long supported the concept of “federal supremacy.” Federal laws trump state laws, as long as the federal laws are constitutional, and that includes health care laws, no matter what our state constitution might say.
The real result of this measure, if approved, would likely be a long and costly legal battle paid for by state taxpayers. Similar costly legal battles are already being waged over other recently passed Arizona laws.
It also could delay national health options for Arizonans that would be available to other Americans, actually resulting in fewer health opportunities for state residents rather that more.
The American health care system is on the edge of dramatic changes to improve it. It makes no sense to try freeze the status quo where it is — but that is what Prop 106 tries to do.