Arizona’s Prop 101: Opponents of Patient Choice Sow Confusion

The Arizona Republic (via the Tucson Citizen) ran an article yesterday quoting some Arizona’s health care elites’ concern that Proposition 101 is “too ambiguous”. On the contrary, it could not be simpler. And that’s what terrifies these elites.

Prop 101, the “Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act”, is a constitutional amendment that would prevent the state from outlawing Arizonans’ freedom to spend their own money on health care of their choice. Less than one hundred words long, any child who can read should be able to understand its intent.

Of course, it should not be necessary for the people of any state to demand this of their government via the constitution: not long ago, such choice would have been taken for granted by any American. No longer.

A recent op-ed by the state assembly’s Democratic leader and a member of the Physicians for a National Health Plan made the absurd allegation that Prop 101 “protects the private insurance industry”.

This claim is utter nonsense. Prop 101’s plain language makes clear that the state can neither forbid any Arizonan from buying private health insurance, nor can it compel him to to so. Thus, it protects Arizonans from either a government-monopoly system (like Canada’s), or mandatory private health insurance (like in Massachusetts).

Unfortunately, the anti-Prop 101 writers cannot understand this freedom because of their ideological blinders. Indeed, their only alternative “reform” is so-called “single-payer” health care. In Arizona, this took the shape of the Orwellian-named “Arizona Health Security Act”, which would have driven every Arizonan into a government-monopoly system.

Imagine a “Home Security Act” that outlawed private houses, and compelled everyone into governmen-owned barracks! Such a law would be unthinkable.

The fact that it is not only thinkable, but doable, for health care, should lead all Arizonans to appreciate the need for a constitutional amendment like Prop 101.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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