Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ducey's support for killing ACA will bust the budget and hurt Arizonans

In the Daily Star (and Arizona Capitol Times), Howard Fischer reports that Arizona Gov. Ducey throws his support behind latest plan to kill Obamacare.

Gov. Doug Ducey has thrown his support behind the latest plan to kill the Affordable Care Act, despite estimates showing it will cost the state billions in lost federal dollars.

In a brief statement Monday, the governor called the Graham-Cassidy bill “the best path forward to repeal and replace Obamacare.”

The governor provided no details on why he supports the plan. Nor was he available for comment, having gone to Illinois for the Republican Governors Association conference.

No details? No problem.

Will Senator McCain once again ride to the rescue?

(He might, but Sen. Jeff Flake will not.)

What makes Ducey’s support significant is not the governor himself, who has no vote on Capitol Hill.

Instead, it is his influence on John McCain, the state’s senior senator. And McCain, who refused to support earlier repeal-and-replace efforts, has said repeatedly that his backing for any plan is contingent on the views of his home-state governor.

But even that may not be enough.

McCain spokeswoman Julie Tarallo told Capitol Media Services on Monday that her boss is reviewing the bill “to assess its impact on the people of Arizona.” But she said he is wary of these kinds of last-minute maneuvers with the details hammered out in offices and sent to the floor in a rush.

“As he has said before, Sen. McCain believes health-care reform should go through the regular order of hearings, open debate, and amendments from both sides of the aisle,” Tarallo said.

Arizona’s other senator, Jeff Flake, said in a Twitter post the plan “has my support” and “ought to be brought to the Senate floor.” But that is little surprise, as Flake as backed prior efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

So we are left to hope that McCain’s mercurial tendencies can be suppressed and to give up any hope that Flake might be a moderate.


Gubernatorial candidate Steve Farley responds

While the Ducey administration would provide nothing more than the governor’s statement of support, Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Steve Farley was more vocal.

“Endorsement of a bill that could hurt our state badly without knowing the facts of the bill amounts to governmental malpractice,” said Farley in a prepared statement.

“This loss of funding will cause real harm to our state,” he said. “For those with serious health issues, the consequences could be dire.”

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