(Chicago, Illinois - February 4, 2008) The new year has brought a number of proposals in state legislatures to mandate health insurance and legislate coverage and premiums. Many of these pushes for "universal health care" have involved efforts to amend state constitutions to require increased government interference in the health care market.
A fledgling ballot initiative in Arizona is bucking that trend. Instead of amending the constitution to require further government involvement in health care, Arizonans may have a chance to vote this November on a constitutional amendment solidifying their right to make their own health care decisions free of government interference. The effort is being spearheaded by the group Medical Choices for Arizona.
Experts contacted by The Heartland Institute offered the following comments about the measure. You may quote from this statement or contact the experts directly at the phone numbers and email addresses provided below.
"The fact that private health care is under such a threat that we need a ballot initiative is sad, but in a nation that seems hell-bent on adopting the failed, socialist health care systems of Canada and Europe, explicitly protecting individuals' ability to make health care decisions free of government control is nothing less than the protection of the basic human right to life."
Paul J. Gessing
Rio Grande Foundation
P.O. Box 40336
Albuquerque, NM 87196
"In the original U.S. Constitution, the people did not delegate the ability to choose their health care to the government. Nevertheless, governments at all levels in the U.S. have strayed well beyond their competence in this regard.
"In such a state of affairs, this is an outstanding and necessary initiative. The tide of government-provided or government-mandated health care is swelling and the people of Arizona, and every state, would benefit from imposing an explicit constitutional limit on their government's power to interfere with their health choices."
John R. Graham
Director, Health Care Studies
Pacific Research Institute
755 Sansome Street #450
San Francisco, CA 94111
"The 'Medical Choice for Arizona' initiative is a common-sense proposal to assure citizens that they will be able to control their own health care and health insurance arrangements without being forced into a state-sponsored system. Americans do have choices today, but we often take them for granted.
"In Canada, with its government-run health system, it is generally illegal to purchase health care directly or to buy private health insurance. As we move toward a debate over the future of our health system in America, initiatives like Arizona's could build a firewall to assure people that they can continue to have freedom of choice and control over their health care destiny."
"It is unfortunate that this basic, fundamental right is under attack and that such an amendment is even necessary. This defense of personal liberty should be presented to the voters in every state. I applaud Arizonans for leading the way."
State of Wisconsin
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