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Why conservatives oppose expansion of Obamacare

Rep. Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert

The battle over the Arizona expansion of Obamacare resembles the fight between David and Goliath. The pro-expansion team has millions of dollars, powerful lobbyists, support from all Democratic legislators, most if not all of the media and a few Republicans who have defected to their cause.

You’ve probably heard radio ads, watched commercials on ESPN or received a full page glossy mailer promoting their “conservative plan.” The only problem is that conservative legislators do not support it.

Here are a few reasons why.

We don’t fall for optical illusions. When the pro-expansion team bused in 300 people to their last rally, we knew that their support was a charade. When they say 63,000 people will lose coverage, we knew that it was not true. Those currently on Medicaid will still have coverage with or without the expansion. Even if it was true, they could get insurance from exchanges with any minimum wage job. We know that it is money and not compassion that is driving this train. A train that Harry Reid (U.S. Senate majority leader) said will wreck without the appropriation of more federal funds.

We stick to the facts and know that the budget put forth by Arizona Senate President Andy Biggs will not drain the rainy day fund or kick people off Medicaid. It does, however, include a request to renew our federal waiver. The pro-expansion team has said the waiver has been denied when, in reality, it has not. Cutting and pasting a web FAQ directed to 50 states is not the same as formally submitting your plan and receiving a denial letter. Ironically, this is the same argument the Democrats made when we last requested a waiver. They said we couldn’t get it, but we did. Will they deny that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled you can’t coerce people into expansion?

Another fact is that expansion doesn’t deal with health care of poor children. We are talking about a select group of adults of whom many have incomes above the poverty level. We are not talking about disabled people who cannot work. They have and will continue to have Medicaid coverage.

We have learned from history that we can afford to wait a year with or without the waiver as Arizona was the last state to implement Medicaid. We waited about 20 years and now it consumes one of every four dollars we spend. Obamacare is going to implode, which even the pro-expansion team admits. When it does, the expansion will go with it. It would be foolish to add onto something that is unraveling prior to implementation.

We know the numbers don’t add up. Conservatives don’t raise taxes on hospitals as a gimmick to draw down federal funds and they don’t put hundreds of thousands of people on a welfare program that will cost billions. Billions will be added to the national debt of which some will be used to fund abortions. Fortunately, half of the states have now refused the expansion. They took advantage of this rare opportunity to cut federal spending.

We believe in the American dream, which depends on every able bodied American to contribute and work. As mentioned before, a minimum wage job qualifies a person for health care exchange coverage. This will increase wealth and allow further contributions to society. Ours is a society that has been the most prosperous in the world because it promises that people can keep what they earn. Nations that guarantee benefits others have earned fail. Conservatives understand that and know that expansion is nothing more than massive growth of the welfare state and a direct threat to our long-term economic health.

— Warren Petersen of Gilbert is a state representative from Legislative District 12.


  1. As an Arizona Business Owner, a US Citizen, and a grandma, it’s so refreshing to have someone in our State Legislature who is interested in our well-being. I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to vote for a person, who listens to the citizens of his state, and cares enough to stand up and state the facts and not fall into the typical stream of politics. As a Business Owner, I am terrified about the costs of Obamacare and am not sure that I will be in business with all the additional costs and taxes. I vote NO on Medicaid expansion. I am disheartened that our conservative senators (who promised to support the conservatives views and wishes) have become traitors to our cause and have been influenced by the flow of Washington. Your article is spot on Warren, and I support your efforts and appreciate you so much, for caring for the small Businessman in our wonderful State of Arizona. I pray that my grandchildren will have the chance to become small business owners themselves someday, and not see it a dream that once was.

  2. Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress a George Soros-funded “progressive” think tank, personally helped to write Obamacare and boasted about Republican Governors implementing it in Conservative states. Tell me why their are Republicans that think this is a good idea? Listen at the 1:18 mark of the video

  3. I think about my kids and grand kids having to put up with obamacare and I get sick to my stomach. It needs to go down to defeat. I have a small business and my emploee’s already have healthcare insurance. I get sick when I hear BO’s name mentioned.

  4. Thank you for the very informative article and also for teaching me more about fighting the fight and not giving in to Obamacare. Hopefully we will begin to realize trusting leaders in our country such as yourself sooner than later.

  5. Edie Gallacher

    Thank you Representative Petersen for taking a stand in opposing Governor Brewer’s proposed Medicaid expansion. Hopefully the House will be able to stop it!

  6. Thank you, for standing up for conservative values. We don’t need and can’t afford any more of the Federal Government in our lives! We don’t need and can’t afford the expansion of Medicaid….please keep up the good fight!
    thank you, thank you, thank you….

  7. Warren, thank you for taking this strong stand AGAINST Medicaid Expansion in Arizona. I have contacted my LD17 Legislator, Tom Forese, numerous times to clarify and explain his position on Medicaid Expansion. Representative Forese has ignored my emails and has not responded to my requests.

  8. The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things.
    *The 5000 Year Leap”, by Cleon Skousen
    “Making of America”, by Cleon Skousen
    “The Law”, by Fredric Bastiat
    “The Declaration of Independence”, Thomas Jefferson
    “The US Constitution”, 56+/- Delegates from most of the colonies of 1787 who met from May to September to hammer out the grandest idea of government ever known to man… AND VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW…


    Keep up the good work……
    Thank you.

  10. Thanks for laying out the facts on this Rep. Petersen. It amazes me how many Americans are willing to give their rights away and allow the government to continue to expand in every facet of life. This is just one more instance. I petition all representatives to vote NO on the expansion and help preserve what has made Amercia great!

  11. Thank you so much for your excellent article, Warren. It is so refreshing to have a man of your courage, intelligence and conservative values in our State Legislature. I am grateful and proud to have you as my representative!

  12. Representative Peterson, Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this important issue, and for your courage to do so. You are right the expansion will be harmful to our great state…I hope you are successful in defeating it.

  13. Well said Warren! We support less government and the freedom to choose the health care we want! Thank you for your comments. Thank you for your hard work! We support you!

  14. If Gov. Brewer succeeds with her power play, this act will be her legacy, one that she’ll regret the rest of her days. Obamacare is the most destructive piece of legislation congress has passed in at least 75 years. I for one will die by the end of 2014, a victim of the “death panels,” because Medicare and United Healthcare R/X have been paying most of my diabetic expenses. To work, Obamacare needs the states to buy into the program, and most of Arizona doesn’t want to buy intoit, just as most America didn’t want to buy into Obamacare.
    Again, thank you, Rep. Peterson; keep fighting for the right!

  15. Thanks Warren, you are a true statesman with principal. That is refreshing to see. Too bad some of your fellow legislatures have failed in that respect. What scares me is what is obama and his hinchmen working up now for us when obamacare comes crashing down?

  16. Thank you to Rep. Petersen and everyone who is fighting this. It is not about healthcare, it is about power and control. Not only are the lobbyists and special interest groups trying to force a healthcare system that will cripple our nation but they are also trying to limit the healthy food that we eat. If we are only allowed to buy processed food, our health will deteriorate and, again- they have more power and control over us. It is not about what is good for “We The People”, it is about what is good for them.

  17. I have written to our legislators and to the Governor repeatedly regarding
    this issue. We must return to conservative fiscal principles or surely we
    will go over the cliff, sooner rather than later. I strongly oppose this
    Medicaid expansion and as has been pointed out, the real issue has nothing
    to do with coverage of those in need; they will still be covered.
    Obamacare itself is a boondoggle, a very costly one. Before the full impact
    of it has surfaced we have seen the negative effects on business. And,
    contrary to the myths put out, costs will go up, quality of patient care will
    do down and businesses will continue to contract, go out of business and
    be forced to cut down employee hours.
    Socialism doesn’t work folks.

  18. Carol Clesceri

    Thank you Rep. Petersen! You continue to stand on principle, work for your constituents, and fight for Arizona’s best interest. I can’t say that for many other so-called Republican leaders. Arguments used to pass legislation are too often made on an emotional basis- not what is constitutionally viable or fiscally responsible.. The Statue of Liberty has the phrase “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”. No where in the world will you find people more compassionate and giving to those less fortunate than here in this country. We have a moral responsibility through our churches and local organizations to those citizens to get them on their feet so they can support themselves – AND not to depend on the government. We also have a responsibility to not bankrupt our states. When will we stop relying on the government to solve our problems- a government that doesn’t have the money to pay for another national program (which, by the way, is OUR money, not the government’s).

  19. I have always been against expansion of government into the health care arena. I have protested this at every turn and I feel that my voice is never heard or for
    that matter no one else’s voice is heard either. When will the madness end. We can not afford to pay for everyone’s everything the way our law makers keep trying to. Also taking our actual real estate equity during a sale of a property to pay for this is akin to taxation without representation. This Obamacare is a nightmare I do not want to experience. Please do not go along with it!

  20. A few years ago I lived in Italy for a few months. During the initially debates over the Obamacare plan, the people who lived in Italy for years couldn’t believe anyone would entertain a healthcare system that would ruin what the USA already has. The proposed healthcare package would bring us closer to a socialist model of healthcare, which would be like Italy. However the people who live in Italy realize the healthcare they have is horrible. In fact they warned me about getting any medical care in Italy the entire time I was there.

    Even Canadians travel to the USA to get our premium medical care.

    Voting for a plan that would deminish the care we have now is a vote for socialism.

    Vote no on Obamacare

  21. Healthcare no matter where it comes from is not free as the progressives contend. We all will pay dearly sooner or later. Thank you Rep. Peterson for your efforts to defeat Medicade Expansion. We no longer can afford to support everyone with everything. Conservatives must unite to vote down this expansion. Those that don’t may not be around when the next election cycle is over. The governor is making a bad bet here, the federal government will play this game as they always have and the taxpayers of Arizona will wind up with the bill in the end.

  22. Thank you Warren! Very well said. Thank you for taking a stand for us all! Your efforts are very much appreciated.

  23. Chad Gallacher

    Thanks, Warren. Great article. Thank you for your hard work.

  24. Emilena P. Turley

    Thank you Warren! Thank you for your courage! Thank you for the stand you have taken and the fight for our rights and liberties. We are very grateful.

  25. Jennie Oxspring

    Thank you, Warren, for clarifying the facts on the whole healthcare issue. If we believe the liberal media and the democrats we will definitely be paying the price in the coming years in diminishing our quality of healthcare while increasing our taxes. Obamacare is NOT the answer for the people of Arizona…or America.

  26. Thank You Warren for fighting for the people and our freedom. We are with you 100%.

  27. Rep Petersen is a shining example of leadership in the House. I will join Warren in personally dedicating long hours and energy to ensure true conservative leadership is replaces the reps in all of these districts, but particularly 16 and 18, respectively. These members have turned on their party and their constituents. An unfortunate turn of events, but one that will be rectified by the common sense conservative message of small government means no Obamacare.

  28. We need more like Warren Peterson. He understands the proper role of government and has the courage to stand up for what’s right unlike our Governor who does what she thinks will get her more power and influence regardless of where it comes from and irrespective of right principles. This is a case in point as to why it is so critical to keep government as close to the people as possible. The more remote the constituency is from their leadership, the less representation they will likely get i.e. King George in 1776

  29. Thank you Warren! A voice of reason and a light in the dark. We appreciate the work you do on our behalf.

  30. Get all your favorite RINO shirts on Ebay. From Jan Brewer, Steve Pierce, John McComish to Jeff Dial and Robson, we listed them all. We even included the rookie RINO Ethan Orr.

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