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What will Healthcare Act Mean for Arizona?

Senator John McComish, Chairman of the Arizona Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, is investigating the impact that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will have on Arizona. The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the individual insurance mandate contained in the law, but ruled that the federal government could not act punitively towards states to force them to expand their Medicaid populations.

This week Senator McComish held his most recent meeting of stakeholders to discuss health care issues in general. Topics have ranged from insurance coverage, medical liability costs to access to healthcare. However, at the heart of the discussion was whether or not the Affordable Care Act would stay in place or leave states to design programs and solutions at the local level. “Now we know what hand we are dealt. I am just beginning to understand where we are headed. I am hoping in the coming months we will have good data to make a sound decision moving forward. I hope to partner with the stakeholders and collaborate with the Executive on next steps.”

“There are many unanswered questions left by the recent court ruling. Specifically, what will expansion of Medicaid cost the state? What is the state and federal contribution to the system and will it be a sustainable program in the years to follow? Can we afford it?”

Another key issue is whether the state will implement the health insurance exchange created by the health care law. What options are best for Arizona is a central focus to McComish’s investigation. “I am getting input from folks in the health care arena as to what are the advantages and disadvantages to this new commercial market created by Obamacare. It’s quite an extensive and expansive infrastructure that will govern the delivery of health care for everyone.”

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