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Arizona GOP Bill Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions Refuses To Cap Premium Hikes

J.D. Mesnard
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
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file | partner | date: Feb 5, 2020, 5:08 PM subject: 2/6 health coverage photo 1 mailing list: [email protected] Filter messages from this mailing list mailed-by: rioradio.org
J.D. Mesnard

Republicans have led the charge to repeal the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — which could be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court later this year.

Now in Arizona, some of those same Republicans say they are building a "safeguard" to replace the ACA's popular protection for those with pre-existing medical conditions.

But Cindy Komar told lawmakers Wednesday that without limits on premiums or deductibles, Senate Bill 1397 would offer little assurance for her son, who lives with severe hemophilia.

"If my son were to buy an individual policy based on what I understand for this bill," she explained at Wednesday's committee hearing, "then he could be charged a $10,000 deductible. And it's totally unaffordable."

Senator J.D. Mesnard admitted there is no cap on insurance premiums in the bill, and warned there is no desire on the Republican side to vote for further limits on insurance companies operating in Arizona.

Kimberly Dorris says she suffers from Graves' disease, and suggested the legislation looks more like a bid by Republicans to save political face as they prepare to kill popular legislation.

Mesnard said he's willing to listen to ideas that could improve the measure when it goes to the full Senate, "within reason.''

For those who think the bill is too narrow, he reminded them of the alternative: "If Obamacare is struck down as I think it inevitably will be at this point ... there is nothing.''

With that, Sen. Sean Bowie (D-Tempe) agreed to support the measure, calling it "better than nothing.''

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Holliday Moore is a native Arizonan and veteran journalist who joined KJZZ’s news team in January 2017.Moore graduated from Arizona State University after double majoring in mass communications and marketing/management. She spent her first two decades reporting for television news, beginning in small markets and working up to congressional correspondent in Washington, D.C., for a political news service.Family commitments in Arizona brought her back to the Southwest, where she covered legislative and court beats for Albuquerque’s KRQE-TV and the infamous Four Corner Manhunt as KREZ-TV’s managing editor.Back home in Phoenix, she developed ABC15’s “Democracy Project,” now instituted at all Scripps’ news stations nationwide. Her work garnered “Best Practices” recognition by the Poynter Institute and the prestigious Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.Her television reports, from sports to cultural issues, earned her multiple Emmy and Associated Press nominations, including a Rocky Mountain Emmy for her Hopi Partition Land Act coverage.As she started a family, Moore started her own media production agency, producing magazine-style travel stories for the Emmy-winning Arizona Highways Television show while working part time for a Valley radio station. She is convinced radio is where visual, sound, and print are merging through deeper storytelling. In her relatively short time with radio network affiliates, she has won four Edward R. Murrow Awards and multiple nominations from other professional news societies.Moore now teaches advanced broadcast writing to the next generation of reporters at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where a high percentage have gone on to receive national awards for their work in her class. She enjoys being back home near childhood friends and sharing the beautiful Arizona desert with her husband and young son.