Two Arizona surgeons on Tuesday unveiled a 2008 statewide generalelection ballot proposal that would prevent mandated health coveragefrom ever being enacted in the state, the Arizona Republicreports. Jeffrey Singer, treasurer of the ballot measure campaign, saidthe proposal would preserve residents' rights to purchase or abstainfrom purchasing health insurance (Pitzel, Arizona Republic, 9/26).
Theproposal, called the Medical Choice for Arizona Act, also would ensurethat residents can continue to purchase prescription drugs oralternative medical treatments not covered by insurance, Singer said.He added, "We just want to make sure that whatever ends up happening... won't be able to restrict people's freedom of choice regardingwhether or not they want to participate in a particular plan."Supporters have until July 3, 2008, to collect 230,047 signatures forthe measure to be added to next year's general election ballot.
Meanwhile, a separate petition drive, organized by Healthy Arizona,is preparing a measure that seeks to provide health coverage to allresidents and that would base premiums on a sliding income scale(Fischer, Capitol Media/Arizona Daily Star,9/26). Mark Osterloh, a Tucson ophthalmologist on the steeringcommittee of Healthy Arizona, said the group has not yet crafted thefinal language of the plan.
Arizonans for Responsible Health Carealso is developing a health care measure to be added to the ballot.Under its proposal, all legal residents who have been in the state aminimum of three years would receive health coverage paid for byemployers and employees through payroll deductions (Arizona Republic, 9/26).
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