Wednesday, September 2, 2009

AFP: AZ Town Halls and Tea Parties in September

Dear Arizona Taxpayers and Tea Partiers:

Thanks to everyone who came out for the Tea Party bus stop last night in Flagstaff! America’s Tea Partiers have done an amazing job of slowing down the juggernaut of government-controlled health care. But we must keep up the fight. Here are three quick items for use in the continuing battle over government-controlled health care, and in the defense of the free enterprise system against the encroachment of Big Government:

1) Upcoming Town Halls & Tea Parties
2) Beware the Individual Mandate
3) Info for the Constituents of Reps. Giffords, Kirkpatrick, and Mitchell

1) Upcoming Town Halls and Tea Parties

Posted at our AFP Arizona home page is information about September tea parties and town halls in Arizona. We have ordered the events chronologically, and will post updates to the list as they become available.

We will keep the list near the top of the news section at

You can also get there by going to and clicking on the link to Arizona in the state chapter list.

2) Beware the Individual Mandate

If the liberals in Congress get their way, government-run health care will be coming your way soon, whether you like it or not. Yet while the current focus has been on the public option or a co-op alternative, we know they are different means to the same end -- the federal government making decisions over which health care options are available to you and your family.

One option they intend to take away immediately is the choice to not buy insurance -- the infamous "individual mandate" that none other than Barack Obama campaigned against less than a year ago! In fact, Candidate Obama adamantly opposed such a mandate for the very reason that it will hurt those it is intended to help, at one point stating, "If you don't buy insurance, then you'll be penalized in some way. And the reason people don't have health insurance is because they can’t afford it.”

After the failing experiment in Massachusetts, it’s clear that an individual mandate is the wrong way to go. AFL-CIO chief John Sweeney has called it "unconscionable". And when it was considered as part of a proposed health care reform bill in California, the California Nurses Assn (CNA) called it "corporate welfare." They were exactly right. The big insurance companies are pushing for an individual mandate, because they want government to force us to buy their products at the same time they adopt expensive new regulations that will put their competitors out of business.

The individual mandate will also facilitate a complete government takeover, because politicians and bureaucrats will get to define what a qualified plan covers, excludes, pays, charges, and every other aspect of health care. You may have a few choices of "private" insurance plans, but they'll really be the same government-dictated plan.

This is a corrupt deal between big government and big business, in which government exercises as much control as it would in a government-run system, but the insurance companies remain nominally private and the profits go to private shareholders. You can be sure they'll also include lots of expensive new regulations that will push costs up, and the middle class will have to pay not only for our own insurance but also for big tax hikes to finance the subsidies that liberals in power will insist on for lower-income people to afford to comply with the mandate.

Check out for more.

3) Info for the Constituents of Reps. Giffords, Kirkpatrick, and Mitchell

No Exit, No Real Choice. One of the most commonly repeated talking points for President Obama and Congress is the idea that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it” under the health care reform legislation on the table in Washington. For example, in a recent email, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords stated that she is “glad that no serious consideration is being given to any reform plan that would restrict people from keeping their private insurance.” However, AFP Arizona respectfully requests that Reps. Giffords, Kirkpatrick and Mitchell reconcile the notion that “if you like your plan, you can keep it” with the following provisions of HR 3200:

• Section 102(b), which mandates that after five years, all health care plans will have to meet a new federal definition for a “qualified” health care plan;

• Section 122 (c)(3), which would prohibit the structure currently used in Health Savings Accounts (HSAs);

• Section 102(c), which would mandate the acquisition of plans approved by the federal government by persons who choose to make any changes their employer-provided plans, or who get different plans, in the next five years;

• Section 102(a), which would mandate the acquisition of a federally-approved plan by any person whose insurance company makes any additions to his or her private, individual plan; and,

• Section 412, which allows employers to dump individuals onto the government plan.

Unfunded Liabilities. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the main House health care bill, HR 3200, would cost over $2 trillion in its first 13 years. The Blue Dogs did shave over $100 billion off the price tag, but that’s a drop in the bucket. According to the Cato Institute:

Taking an even longer view, we calculate that [HR 3200’s] permanent program would add $13.6 trillion to the federal government’s total unfunded obligations in today’s dollars. That is, the government would need to have that amount in the bank today, invested at interest, to fully finance the new program’s subsidy costs as they come due. Social Security and Medicare actuaries estimate that these two programs’ unfunded obligations under today’s policies exceed $100 trillion (not billion) in today’s dollars… [The $13.6 trillion] estimate optimistically assumes that health-care costs will eventually grow with the general inflation rate (they’re currently growing much faster).

That $100 trillion (one hundred trillion dollars) does not include anything else on which people might want to spend taxpayer money: national defense, courts, freeways, etc. $100 trillion is roughly seven times the entire current yearly output of the US economy, or over one million dollars for every American under the age of 18. Covering that gap would require doubling the portion of the economy taken in federal taxation. With massive new taxes and/or with massive borrowing crowding out private investment, there will be fewer resources for the long-term capital formation needed to sustain future productivity. With endless debt, higher taxes, and inflation on the horizon, Americans will continue to save money at dangerously low levels. If we do not change course, the result will be stagnating economic growth—or worse, capital consumption and economic decline.

To protect our children and grandchildren, Reps. Giffords, Kirkpatrick and Mitchell need to fight hard to table HR 3200 and point Congress toward fiscally sustainable alternatives. They could start by sitting down and talking to another member of the Arizona delegation, Rep. John Shadegg, who is one of the best experts in Congress on the issue of market-oriented health care reform. Congressman Shadegg will also be a speaker at AFPF’s Defending the American Dream Summit in Washington, DC, October 2nd and 3rd. The Summit will include a rally at the US Capitol, while Congress is in session.

Summit Info here:

Also, at our AFP Arizona blog page, we have posted a great op-ed from Barry Goldwater, Jr that appeared in the latest edition of the Arizona Capitol Times, titled “Health Care? The Government Can’t Even Run a Railroad”:

For Liberty,


Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
(Arizona Federation of Taxpayers)
(602) 478-0146

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is the nation’s premier grassroots organization committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth, and returning government to its constitutional limits.

For more information, visit

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