Vote tight on health care measure - East Valley Tribune: Health

Vote tight on health care measure

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Posted: Wednesday, November 5, 2008 8:41 am | Updated: 10:16 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

A proposal to amend Arizona’s Constitution to forbid any law that would restrict a person’s right to choose and pay directly for medical care remains too close

With about 99.1 percent of precincts reporting, Proposition 101 was losing by the narrowest of margins, just over 2,000 vote. Ten precincts in Maricopa County and 10 in Pima County had not reported as of Wednesday morning. With thousands of early and provisional ballots still to be counted, it could be several days before results are known.

Supporters said Proposition 101, put forward by two Phoenix-area surgeons, would prevent government interference with individual health choices. That would happen, supporters said, if the state adopted a system providing mandatory universal health care.

Opponents said the proposition was poorly worded, would open the door to litigation and could cost $2 billion or more by unraveling the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state’s Medicaid system.

Proponents, which included conservative anti-tax groups, say the measure is needed to guard against the possibility of mandatory, single-payer universal health care.

Gov. Janet Napolitano, hospitals and business groups argued that the amendment could increase costs and leave thousands of Arizonans uninsured.

But opponents said AHCCCS wouldn’t be affected because it is a voluntary program.

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