Credit where credit is due – Do not sign the Health and Welfare Budget Reconciliation Referendum

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

After lambasting the Arizona Daily Star editorial page in the previous post, I want to give credit where credit is due to Sarah Garrecht Gassen, an editorial writer for the Star.

For some unexplained reason, the Arizona Daily Star rarely publishes its own editorial opinions, choosing instead to copy and paste editorial opinions from other newspapers around the country. I am not aware of any other large circulation newspaper that does not publish a daily editorial opinion.

On Sunday, Sarah Garrecht Gassen had a signed opinion (which I assume means that it is not on behalf of the Editorial Board) taking the United Republican Alliance of Principled Conservatives to task for defrauding voters in getting them to sign its petititon to put Governor Jan Brewer's Medicaid (AHCCCS) Restoration/Expansion Plan on the ballot as a citizens referendum. Now that is informing Star readers. Petition jeopardizes health care for thousands of Arizonans:

A petition drive promoted to “stop Obamacare in Arizona” will not keep Arizona from following the federal health-care law.

At
libraries, parks, shopping centers and restaurants around the Tucson
area you may see signs and people urging you to sign a petition that
would put the expansion of Medicaid in the state on the ballot in
November 2014.

Many of their signs, accompanied by American flags, assert that signing the petition will help “veto Obamacare in Arizona.”

It won’t.

If
enough people sign the petition, however, some 63,000 poor people —
including about 5,000 Arizonans with cancer and 2,000 with serious
mental illness — will not get the health-care coverage they’re supposed
to get on Jan. 1.

Unlike most petition drives that simply place a
matter on the ballot for voters to decide, this effort has the potential
to deprive people of medical care.

This is what would happen: If
organizers collect enough valid signatures — more than 86,000 are
required — then a measure asking voters to decide on expanding Medicaid
would go on the November 2014 ballot.

In the meantime, however,
the the Medicaid expansion would be on hold, and those 63,000 people
will remain without medical coverage. They will be denied the coverage
that was approved by the Arizona Legislature and signed into law by Gov.
Jan Brewer.
This was a long, hard-fought process and, in the end, it
passed.

So, while in most circumstances we would encourage voters
to sign petitions, even for things they would vote against, we cannot in
this case.

The stakes are too high.

The effort, pushed by
former state Sen. Frank Antenori, a Republican who lost a congressional
primary in November, among others, is based on the deceptive premise
that Arizonans can “veto Obamacare.”

The Affordable Care Act — the
real name of Obamacare — is the law of the land. It has been upheld by
the U.S. Supreme Court and it has already gone into effect in several
beneficial ways: children with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied
medical coverage, children can remain on a parent’s policy until age 26
and insurance companies are no longer allowed to drop coverage for a
child because he or she is ill.

Even if you wholeheartedly oppose
the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, signing this petition — or even
approving the measure if it makes it to the ballot — will not prevent
Arizona from having to comply with federal law.

Yet the signs and
language around this petition drive are geared to give that impression.
For example, the homepage of the United Republican Alliance of
Principled Conservatives touts it as “The People’s Veto of
OBrewercare/Obamacare/Medicaid Expansion in Arizona.”

The
expansion will restore medical coverage to childless adults who lost it
in 2011 when the Arizona Legislature dropped them from the public system
to save money.

The expansion extends coverage to those adults
without children who earn up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level
— that’s an income of no more than $15,282 per year for an adult. This
group includes Arizonans who have a job that does not offer benefits, or
who don’t make enough to purchase a policy on their own.

Signing this petition will directly affect the lives of tens of thousands of Arizonans. We urge you not to do it.

We
do not come to this conclusion lightly, but we believe that voters must
know the consequences that their signature, on this specific petition,
will — and won’t — have.

If you have signed this petition under false pretenses, you can ask to have your name removed from the petition. I would suggest that you prepare a signed and notarized statement explaining when and where you signed the petition, and requesting that your name be removed from the petition. Send a copy to the United Republican Alliance of Principled Conservatives Committee (below), and send another copy to your local County Recorder's Office with your contact information. Keep your original.

I am aware of at least one political club that was duped into sgning this petition under false pretenses, and when they discovered it, they demanded that their signatures be removed. The petiton circulator agreed to remove their names from the petition. I would still follow-up with the County Recorder, just to be certain. These people are not to be trusted.

Health and Welfare Budget Reconciliation Referendum

United Republican Alliance of Principled Conservatives
120 South Houghton Road, # 138-177
Tucson, Arizona 85748
520-235-2234
Christine Bauserman, Applicant
Frank Antenori, Chairman

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