BY LINDA BENTLEY | MAY 22, 2013
Bill Whittle, legislators weigh in on federal intervention
Pointing to the state capitol and legislature buildings, Whittle said, ‘The state sold these buildings to pay for programs you can’t afford.’
Photos by Linda Bentley
PHOENIX – Five busloads of people were brought to a rally at the Arizona State Capitol last Wednesday to show support for Gov. Jan Brewer’s push to expand Medicaid, part of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
However, the rally was met with a large number of protestors as well, many of whom were carrying signs opposed to Medicaid eligibility expansion and “Stop OBrewercare.”
Brewer’s proposal would expand eligibility to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, which will add an estimated 300,000 or more to the 1.3 million already enrolled in Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, also known as AHCCCS, Arizona’s Medicaid program.
Following Brewer’s rally, Rep. Warren Peterson, R-Dist. 17, joined by Reps. David Livingston, R-Dist. 22; Kelly Townsend, R-Dist. 16; and Carl Seel, R-Dist. 20; held a press conference of his own with Bill Whittle as the guest speaker.
Whittle, a conservative blogger, political commentator, director, screenwriter and editor, is best known for his “Afterburner” program on PJTV.
Telling the audience state bills were none of his business and the last thing Arizonans need is someone coming here from California telling them what to do in Arizona, Whittle said there was not a problem for which the federal government was a solution.
Whittle said, “I have never run into a single American who has a problem with the Bill of Rights,” the first 10 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Pointing out there is nothing about health care in the Constitution and Obamacare is not about health care, Whittle said, “This is a war on our children.”
Whittle reminded people of the 10th Amendment, which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Whittle, who lives in California, said, “California is dying in front of our eyes.”
He stated for every $1 Arizonans put in, Arizona gets $10 back from the federal government “that you pay for.”
Whittle warned against programs that are made bigger and taken farther away from local control.
Pointing to the state capitol and legislature buildings, Whittle said, “The state sold these buildings to pay for programs you can’t afford.”
Not only that, but Whittle noted no one has been able to find out who the buildings were sold to, not even members of the legislature.
Whittle said, “If this stuff were free, I’d be a liberal. But it’s not.”
In parting, Whittle said, “My state is falling apart. Don’t let that happen to Arizona.”
Livingston, in questioning why Arizona has a Republican governor supporting Obamacare and why hospitals are willing to tax themselves, said, “Hospitals are willing to tax themselves because for every $1 they get $10 in return.”
Livingston promised to do everything he can to stop Obamacare.
Townsend said, “Before we talk about expanding Medicaid, we need to repeal Obamacare.”
Townsend, who utilizes Veterans Administration (VA) health care services, said she had a 12-hour wait at the VA and stated a single-payer, government-run system, which is what Obamacare will end up becoming, will be “horrible.”
She also reminded people that Obamacare and the Medicaid expansion would also be used to fund abortion.
Seel held up a chart titled, “To Expand or Not to Expand?”
The chart showed the minimum amount for Medicaid under Obamacare growing to $756 million per year that Arizona cannot afford versus full expansion costing taxpayers $2.6 billion they cannot afford.
He said the NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business), whose membership is made up of small businesses, came out in “vehement opposition” to socialized medicine by a vote of 75 percent.
After the press conference, Seel said while the House appears to be against the Medicaid expansion bill by a thin margin, there’s a move under foot to pose the question as a referendum to voters.
Seel called that a dangerous move that would give RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) cover by not requiring them to vote on the matter.
Meanwhile, the Senate has since voted in favor of Brewer’s proposed Medicaid expansion as part of Obamacare by a vote of 19 to 11, with six Republicans voting with the Democrats.
Those six Republican Senators, or RINOs, now referred to as the “Gang of 6” include:
• John McComish, Dist. 18
• Adam Driggs, Dist. 28
• Steve Pierce, Dist. 1
• Michele Reagan, Dist. 23
• Bob Worsley, Dist. 25
• Rich Crandall, Dist. 16