The local and state activist group, Emerging American Majorities (EAM) has released a digital ad, calling for Republicans in the Arizona State Legislature to stop playing with Arizonan lives and do more to protect people with preexisting conditions (especially during the Coronavirus) than the potentially patient price gauging Mesnard measure that passed the Legislature in the last session. Please watch the video below:
EAM, an organization dedicated “to help state and local governments represent the diverse populations of their communities and advance policies that promote inclusion, equality, and opportunity for all,.” Believes that affordable and quality health care is a right everyone.
Responding to a request for comment by Blog for Arizona, four local Democrats running to replace Republicans in the State Legislature that do not share that enlightened view shared their perspectives on the EAM digital ad.
Legislative District Eight State House Candidate Sharon Girard
“During this COVID pandemic it is very important that people have reliable, dependable health care. We have a duty to make sure all of us in Arizona have the healthcare we need. When people are insured, they seek care early in the disease process, take advantage of preventative care, and keep themselves healthier if they have preexisting conditions. People without health coverage of lower-income have more health problems and cannot afford their medications on a regular basis. I have seen this firsthand because I have volunteered to provide medical care at free clinics. I have worked for decades in emergency rooms in small rural communities where we do not turn away patients. We see the sickest of the sick who many times wait until the last minute to come in for care. They wait because they are afraid to be seen because they have no money, they can’t take time off of work or fill a prescription that I ask them to take, even if their life depends on it. I can still see the faces of these people. They are nameless but hardworking. They pick our lettuce and cilantro by day and squeeze in a visit by night, asking nothing in return but that I make them well enough to go into work the next morning. Politics has no place in healthcare. Healthcare is a human right. Everyone, especially during the time of a pandemic, deserves care and a way to pay for it. Yet people die at home, afraid to be seen in a hospital they have no way to pay for. ICU care can run over $5000/day. No one should go bankrupt if they have COVID, yet many will. We may save a life but devastate a bank account. This is not humanity. No, we will not discriminate against people and instead should make sure all will be covered for COVID expenses. We must make sure our hospital and clinic doors are open and affordable to everyone. Our legislators have a responsibility to do what is right for Arizonans. Healthcare is a human right.”
Legislative District Eleven State Senate Candidate JoAnna Mendoza
“Now more than ever, every Arizonan needs and deserves access to affordable healthcare. The pandemic has brought into stark relief the work that needs to be done to improve our healthcare system: filling healthcare professional shortages, expanding telehealth (especially in rural areas), and reining in costly prescriptions and premiums. Some lawmakers are working tirelessly around the clock to ensure that the health, safety, and well-being of every Arizonan is of the utmost priority. Sadly, not every lawmaker seems to agree that healthcare should be accessible and affordable. The latest digital ad by the Emerging American Majority perfectly highlights where some lawmakers stand on the issue and the political party, they align with. We have lawmakers, one of those being the incumbent in District 11, Senator Leach, who is unapologetically working against the people by removing healthcare protections for folks in the middle of a pandemic. While we don’t need more division in our nation, it’s hard to ignore where the GOP majority stands on healthcare and other issues that make an equitable life possible. It’s become clear that they aren’t working to serve people in their districts, and are instead catering to the special interest groups that support their political campaigns.”
Legislative District Eleven State Senate Candidate Linda Patterson
WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE STATE WE ONCE KNEW?
“Beware! Believe it or not, there is an action taking place to deny medical coverage for residents with Pre-Existing Health Conditions and it is being brought to us by Vince Leach and his friends in the Arizona State Legislature. “Unconscionable,” you say, “What kind of people would work to do such a thing?”
“The answer is simple: The type of people who are working to do this are those that are banking on the fact that they have slowly taken away so much from us already that they can continue to do more because they have gotten away with so much already. They know we are busy in our lives and that our time is precious – and sometimes it is not possible for us to pay attention to everyday events. And, over time, they have seen that they can take away more from us because of this reality.”
“The Koch Brothers started this type of non-representative government in the 1980s when they founded ALEC, a conservative think tank of which Vince Leach was recognized as “Legislator of the Year” at one of their exorbitant conferences last August. ALEC Conferences occur four times a year where they jet Republican Legislators and Executives all over the country to posh resorts to present them with sample bills that serve their interests. And those interests are to severely limit government services and make every effort to get corporate tax breaks and undermine the government as we know it to be. And, their part of the deal comes in funding their campaigns.”
“We once lived in a country and state that knew that the idea behind forming a government was to pool resources to serve the common good. Well, over that past 40 years -and particularly in the past 3.5 years under trump and our Republican Governor/State Legislator this “common good” principle is being continually undermined in order to create a system of “The Entitled.” In other words, the “Haves” and the “Have-Nots”.
“In those 40 years, they have decimated Public Education, State Infrastructure, Public Lands, Our Environment, Water Resources, Common Sense Solutions to Climate Change, Individual Rights. And the list goes on and on and on. Right now, they are coming at us in another way: They currently have an ALEC bill ready to go that will deny us medical coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions! Really!”
“Many wonders why they are pursuing such a path? It is about money and power. Corporations save money and dishonest legislators stay in power. PACS, Special Interest and Dirty Money passes hands and legislators get elected.”
“I promised you that I would never accept one cent of funding from these sources. I have run my campaign true to that pledge! I also will not accept Political Endorsements for the same reason.”
“I am running for State Senate in LD11 because I want to serve YOU.
I am will never join in on a game that makes me beholden to anyone. That is my pledge.”
Legislative District Ten State House Candidate Paul Stapleton-Smith
“We need our collective best efforts to cope with the ravages of this virus. We need more protections for consumers and our state, not less. The medical insurance companies that are extracting profits from our families in these dark times, must be constrained from price gouging and discrimination.”
“These are dark times for our state, and we must use every tool available to come together in solidarity to overcome these challenges. Protecting health insurance company’s profits at the expense of our most vulnerable is unconscionable and contrary to the moral imperatives of public health. We must control pricing by these companies, and we can. We must not allow them to withhold protection to our most vulnerable. Medical histories must not be called, “preexisting conditions”—our medical histories are fundamental to our doctors’ ability to treat sick patients.”
“Our families, our schools, our hospitals, and nursing homes are all at great risk. Our safety at work and our safety as customers must be priorities to adapt our economy to work for us all. If we do not provide treatment to all our people, we cannot claim that we are truly prepared to contain this pandemic.”
While it is true that Democrats in the State Legislature unanimously voted with the Republicans on Mesnard’s Preexisting “Protection” bill, they did so because they considered it a forward step they could hopefully build and expand on it when the next regular legislative session opens in January when they are hopefully in the majority.
Hopefully, voters on November 3, 2020, will help make that happen.
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