Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act, back from the dead.

Arizonans had the chance last November to pass broad protections for the role of individual choice in health care, but the measure failed by a small margin due in part to AHCCCS director Anthony Rodgers telling tall tales about it at state expense.

We may get that chance again: A very dull measure cleaning up some language concerning state trust lands, HCR 2014, may be replaced by a striker establishing protection of the right to purchase or not purchase private health care or private health insurance, or to not participate in a "health care system."

The language of the measure that, if adopted, would be sent to the voters for approval, is much cleaner than that of the Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act, which was plagued by undefined terms and awkward mouthfuls such as "Health Care Coverage." Rodgers' mal fide attack should have been a nonstarter the first time, but certainly doesn't apply to this. Moreover, the sort of uninformed voter that tends to be brought out by a Presidential election, especially with the charismatic Obama in the race, will likely stay home when this question is up.

Minutes aren't available for the 4 March meeting of the Health and Human Services committee, and this bill isn't on the agenda afterwards. Both the original and the striker were proposed by Nancy Barto, Health and Human Services chairwoman, so prospects for striker adoption look good.

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