Guest rebuttal: Urge lawmakers to heed voters' wishes
This is a rebuttal by Frank Antenori to a guest editorial by John Newport, PhD:
A guest editorial on this station claimed that implementing the Medicaid Expansion of Obamacare would not cost Arizona taxpayers, implying the $1.6 Billion in Federal dollars for this huge entitlement expansion was "free money." We all know there's no such thing.
In 2000, voters approved Prop 204 to expand Medicaid. At the time they were told that the program would be funded with dollars from the tobacco lawsuit settlement, and it wouldn't cost taxpayers a dime.
As it turns out, the Medicaid population tripled to 1.2 million people, far in excess of what was predicted. Costs exploded, quickly eclipsing revenue from the tobacco settlement. Where did the money come from to make up the shortfall? You guessed it… the Arizona Taxpayer.
Hundreds of millions of your taxes were diverted from the general fund each year to pay for the program. Money meant for roads, schools, and public safety. Once again we're expected to believe that expanding the program by almost 50% won't cost us anything?
The Federal government has just proposed a trillion-dollar income tax increase, and is diverting money from your Medicare. Medical costs continue to rise and insurance premiums have skyrocketed. It's already costing us and this is only the beginning.
Arizona voters soundly rejected Obamacare by approving Prop 106. Urge your legislators to heed the voters' wishes and say no to Obamacare. We can't afford it.
Frank Antenori is a former Arizona State Senator, retired US Army Special Forces member and a nationally registered paramedic.