Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona

Koch Brothers Organize to Stop Medicaid Expansion in Arizona, Nationwide


In recent months, a handful of Republican governors have softened their stances on Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Showing a bit of financial savvy and (dare I say) compassion for the millions of poor Americans who would be covered by this, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and others have decided to take the feds’ funds and allow expanded healthcare coverage for their citizens who can’t afford insurance. 

Unfotrunately for the people who would benefit from Medicaid expansion, Big Brother Brothers don’t like it when their puppets… er… politicians brake ranks with the 1%. Americans for Prosperity– the Koch Brothers’ astroturf  group– is organizing the citizenry to fight against their own self interests to defeat Medicaid expansion.

This battle is coming to Tucson on Thursday, March 7, 2013. Americans for Prosperity has organized a public forum on Medicaid expansion at The Loft Cinema, 6:30-8:30 p.m. After a showing of “Sick and Sicker”, an anti-Obamacare propaganda film, there will be a panel, which is heavily packed with Tea Party types– like former State Senator and perpetual blow hard Frank Antenori, State Representative Ethan Orr, and Tom Jenney, Arizona Director for Americans for Prosperity. The sole Democrat on the panel is State Senator Steve Farley. (Go, Steve!)

If you believe that healthcare is a human right and if you believe that “We the People” should take care of each other (and not fight over crumbs left by the 1%), come testify at this forum. This is your chance to tell your story. If you support Medicaid expansion in Arizona, you can also go to this link on the AHCCCS website add your name as a supporter. Comments and healthcare stories can be sent to Share@azahcccs.gov.

Flyer and details about Americans for Prosperity’s efforts in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Florida after the jump.

From Crooks and Liars

AFP’s [Americans for Prosperity] efforts are intended to deny health care to 542,000 uninsured and poor residents of Pennsylvania so billionaires can buy another bauble for their wife. It’s disgusting to see these people actually organize their astroturf in order to deny people the right to have access to affordable health care.

In Florida, their efforts were rewarded Monday with a key House subcommittee voting to block Governor Rick Scott’s decision to expand Medicaid into that state. The Florida legislature has a Republican supermajority, so the only question to be answered is whether or not Rick Scott will acquiesce to their cruelty or veto it.

I think we all know the answer to that. They’ve given him the political cover he needs with that bill, just as the Pennsylvania legislature will do for Governor Tom Corbett. A few dying residents won’t matter to these people, because the only pity they have in their hearts is for the billionaires.

From Amercans for Prosperity

To all Arizona Taxpayers and Health Care Consumers:

Despite the fact that Gov. Jan Brewer and powerful lobbyists are pushing Arizona to impose statewide taxes, including a hospital bed tax, to fund an expansion of Medicaid (AHCCCS) under ObamaCare, we think there is a strong chance we will win this battle. Here are three reasons we are likely to win:

1) Grassroots activists (YOU and your friends!) have been putting strong pressure on Legislators.

It is vitally important for Arizona to stop the proposed Medicaid expansion, because the human and fiscal costs of that expansion would be enormous. If you haven’t sent an email to your Legislators, please TAKE ACTION NOW.

2) Conservatives on the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are likely to fight to protect taxpayers and defend Prop 108.

With your encouragement, we are confident that the members of the Appropriations Committees will make sure that any Medicaid expansion bill contains a Prop 108 clause, thus requiring a two-thirds vote of the both chambers of the Legislature. Please send those members (listed below) a note of encouragement. Your email or voice mail message can be very short, for example: “I am writing to thank you for all you do for Arizona taxpayers on the Appropriations Committee, and to encourage you to make sure that any tax or fee increase for the Medicaid expansion is subject to a two-thirds vote of each chamber of the Legislature, as required by Prop 108.” More info about Prop 108 and the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion: http://tinyurl.com/stopunelected

Rep. Paul Boyer  pboyer@azleg.gov 602-926-4173
Rep. Tom Forese  tforese@azleg.gov 602-926-5168
Rep. Rick Gray  rgray@azleg.gov 602-926-5993
Rep. John Kavanagh  jkavanagh@azleg.gov 602-926-5170
Rep. Adam Kwasman  akwasman@azleg.gov 602-926-5839
Rep. Justin Olson  jolson@azleg.gov 602-926-5288
Rep. Michelle Ugenti  mugenti@azleg.gov 602-926-4480

Sen. Chester Crandell  ccrandell@azleg.gov 602-926-5409
Sen. Gail Griffin  ggriffin@azleg.gov 602-926-5895
Sen. Al Melvin  amelvin@azleg.gov 602-926-4326
Sen. Rick Murphy  rmurphy@azleg.gov 602-926-4444
Sen. Don Shooter  dshooter@azleg.gov 602-926-4139
Sen. Kelli Ward  kward@azleg.gov 602-926-4138

3) The more Legislators learn about the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion, the less likely it is that two thirds of them will vote for it.

Perhaps that is why none of the Governor’s staffers and no hospital lobbyists joined us for our February 21 panel on the Medicaid expansion — despite getting a month’s advance notice and an offer of equal time for pro-expansion arguments. At the event, Michael Cannon of the Cato InstituteChristina Corieri of theGoldwater Institute and Phoenix surgeon Jeff Singer explained in depth why expansion would be a bad option for Arizona citizens and for the state budget. To view video from the event (a great way to learn more about the arguments for and against the Medicaid expansion), go here. And thanks to WesternFreePress.com for the video!


On Thursday, March 7th, please join us for a discussion of the proposed ObamaCare Medicaid expansion in Tucson, at the Loft Cinema 3233 E. Speedway Blvd., from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Panelists will include AZ State Senator Steve Farley (Democrat — LD 9), AZ State Representative Ethan Orr (Republican — LD 9), AFP-Arizona director Tom Jenney, former AZ State Senator Frank Antenori, Tucson physician and health care reformer Dr. Jane Orient, M.D., TucsonCitizen.com columnist John Newport, PhD, and Arizona Board of Regents member Tyler Bowyer.

RSVP: Christine Bauserman, 520-235-2234 / cb12221@gmail.com


Please help AFP-Arizona fight the battle for health care freedom by going to www.aztaxpayers.org and clicking on the Donate button at top. A contribution of $10, $25, $50, or $100 would be helpful to our efforts, and would enable us to mobilize more activists and put more pressure on elected officials. Every little bit counts, and we can’t do what we do without great people like you standing with us!

For Liberty, Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens to support restraining state and federal government growth and returning government to its constitutional limits. AFP is more than 2 million activists strong, with activists in all 50 states. AFP has 34 state chapters and affiliates. For more information, visitwww.americansforprosperity.org

And from the Democrats…

PCDP Banner

We need a show of strength from fellow Democrats at this meeting to counter the Republicans who oppose reasonable, common-sense healthcare for the poor and disadvantaged.


Medicaid Forum

Discussion of Governor Brewer’s idea to expand Medicaid in the state of Arizona

The Loft Cinema 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.
Thursday, March 7th
6:30 – 8:30 pm

AZ State Senator Steve Farley, LD9
AZ State Representative Ethan Orr, LD9
Tom Jenney,Arizona Director, Americans For Prosperity
Former AZ State Senator Frank Antenori, Political Activist
Dr. Jane Orient, M.D., 1974 Columbia University
Tyler Bowyer, Regent, AZ Board of Regents



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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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