Editorial board, The Republic | azcentral.com
Voters often say they want legislators who will show courage by putting the public good ahead of their self interest.
This election will give them a chance to show if they really mean it.
Several Republican incumbents face hotly contested elections because they put Arizona’s interests first by supporting Gov. Jan Brewer’s call for Medicaid expansion. The math argument for the vote is solid; it makes the most sense for taxpayers.
But ideologically rigid Republicans don’t care. Expansion is tied to the Affordable Care Act, so anyone who voted for it is a “legis-traitor.”
Such is the state of public discourse.
Here’s why the vote makes sense. Voters approved an initiative that makes childless adults earning up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level eligible for Medicaid. During the depth of the recession, the Legislature kicked many of those people off the rolls. Courts inevitably will require the Legislature to abide by the voters’ wishes.
The feds would pay most of the bill if the state expanded eligibility to 133 percent, with the rest coming from hospitals. Rejecting the federal offer meant the state would have to pay the full freight to get to 100 percent, with money it does not have. It seems a simple choice.
It was for state Sen. Bob Worsley and state Reps. Heather Carter, Doug Coleman, Frank Pratt, Bob Robson and T.J. Shope, though they knew their votes could cost them their seats. They now face vigorous challenges, supported by independent expenditure committees, for voting their conscience. Not to mention, putting taxpayers first.
This is a key moment for Arizona. We face a choice between a Legislature blindly marching in ideological lockstep or one of diverse voices, in which pragmatism has a place. Unblinking ideology has too often exposed Arizona to ridicule.
We prefer pragmatism. We recommend Worsley, Carter, Coleman, Pratt, Robson and Shope in the Aug. 26 Republican primary.
Yesterday, at Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, we celebrated Governor Brewer signing my cost-parity bill for oral anticancer drugs. HB 2078 is one of the bills I was proudest to sponsor last session.
Beginning January 1, 2016, health insurance companies will not be allowed to charge cancer patients different amounts for oral treatment versus injections or those administered intravenously. Now instead of being financially pressured into one type of treatment, patients can consult with their doctors and families and make healthcare decisions based on the patient’s individual circumstances.
With the passage and signing of HB2078, I’m very pleased that our elected officials did the right thing to stand up and represent all cancer patients. By requiring insurance plans that already cover cancer treatments to treat all cancer drugs equally, it is now up to patients working with their doctors to decide what is the best available course of treatment for their condition. This also opens up a world of affordable options for rural cancer patients who don’t live near a treatment center.
HB 2078 will grant patients more access, more affordability, and most importantly, more choice in selecting their treatments.
Two of the largest business organizations in the state have endorsed my campaign for the House of Representatives – the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.
I made it a priority to work with businesses throughout the district, and the state, to see what policies would make Arizona more business friendly.
“Representative Carter led the way in creating a sound economic future for Arizona through her strong support of education, tax and regulatory reform, and economic development efforts.”
-Todd Sanders, President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
My work at the Capitol has made a difference in improving the economic development of our legislative district.
As the Chair of the House Healthcare committee, I strongly support the Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University’s efforts, to create the Arizona Biomedical Corridor in the Desert Ridge Area.
This partnership will make Legislative District 15 a national and international destination for health care and related research and development. More importantly, our residents will have access to top-quality medical care right in their own back yard! Read about the ASU/Mayo partnership here.
I also work closely with the largest employers in LD 15. Our district is home to USAA, Cox Communications, American Express and Honeywell. I meet regularly with executives, representatives, and LD 15 constituents from these companies to inform my policy decisions at the Capitol. During my service as your state representative, we passed two historic economic development packages which have helped position Arizona as a national leader in job growth and economic development.
My priorities when I came to the Capitol were fixing our economy and creating jobs. The personal connection I established with so many Arizona businesses, and specifically businesses in LD 15, has allowed me to be more effective at the Capitol helping to put Arizona back on track!
It’s an honor to be recognized by the Chambers for the decisions I’ve made and I am proud to receive their endorsements.