Tucson Progressive

Pamela J. Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona

Decisions, decisions: Save lives or cut taxes? Brewer chooses tax cuts

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer

Insurance companies have been vilified for allowing bureaucrats to make life-and-death decisions based upon efficiency and cost effectiveness. Arizona’s Republican Governor Jan Brewer and her cronies in the Arizona Legislature have taken this draconian policy. Now Arizona politicians decide who dies, who survives, and who thrives. (Here’s a hint– don’t count on any poor people being in the “thrive” category.)

Not to be content to be regularly lampooned on Saturday Night Live, the Colbert Report, and the Daily Show, Brewer, her heartless “Brewercare” version of AHCCCS (the state’s Medicaid system), and her politically controlled Death Panels are regularly featured on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann and are going viral. (What a boon for the state’s tourism office!)

On this past Sunday, Mark Price, cancer patient, AHCCCS enrollee, and bone marrow transplant hopeful, died. Price was the first patient to be denied a life-saving bone marrow transplant by Arizona’s state-sanctioned Death Panel. The Death Panel decision did not kill Price; hopefully, that story would have made the front page of the Arizona Daily Star— next to how to safely light a sparkler. Price died of complications from chemotherapy. Currently 95 AHCCCS patients need transplants are on the Arizona Death Panel list. For a video clip of Olbermann’s Brewercare story and more background, check out this link to Blog for Arizona.

Sadly, the day after Price– a person who was denied life-saving medical care because of the state’s budget deficit– passed, Brewer announced her plan to offer more corporate tax cuts. A state that is on the verge of economic collapse and cannot take care of its citizens, its children, its roads, its educational system can offer even more tax cuts? This is not just irresponsible government; it’s lunacy. Beyond that– why would any person– corporate or real– move to a state on the brink of disaster? Get real.

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela J. Powers

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals–not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election.

My platform focused on economic reforms to grow Arizona’s economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, grow local small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs.

In the Arizona House, I was a strong voice for fiscal responsibility a moratorium on corporate tax breaks until the schools were fully funded, increased cash assistance to the poor, expansion of maternal healthcare benefits, equal rights, choice, unions, education at all levels and protecting our water supply.

After three terms, I retired from the Arizona Legislature in January 2023 but will continue to blog and produce my podcast “A View from the Left Side.”

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