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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. Thanks, Warren. Keep fighting the good fight. We know who wins in the end!

  2. Great article, Warren! The fact is, you cannot be FOR the Medicaid expansion and AGAINST ObamaCare. And anyone who says this is delusional. Both of these programs are mutual parasites on the same host: the American taxpayer. Medicaid has grown 23% since Democrat President Barack Obama took office. There are now 72,600,000 Americans on Medicaid. Expanding Medicaid is another step to socialized medicine. Thanks for fighting against it, Warren.

  3. Warren,
    Anything we can do to keep the federal government out of our lives will be a cost and control benefit to everyone! Every program the government starts, takes over, or regulates, cost the taxpayers many times over what the normal price would be.
    It appears to me that the policy of the government for something that is not broke, is to fix it, regulate it , and tax it until it is broke! Gordon

  4. Suzanne & Larry Bird

    Rep. Petersen of Gilbert is right in his summary of why conservatives oppose the expansion of Obamacare (Medicaid) in Arizona. Conservatives like us, think that this free money is a just a lure to hook people. Once they are caught so to speak there will be no way of getting them back into a working environment and swimming on their own.

    Conservatives have been there and back. Many are either business owners or the middle working class Americans that know better. We know that the promises politicians make are not often kept. So more often than not the taxpayer is left with the bill. Why wouldn’t we question an administration that is increasing the debt limit over $16 trillion dollars? And why wouldn’t we want to stop such a bill that will create financial hardship for future generations of Arizonans?

    Bravo..Rep. Petersen for standing up for conservative values!

    The Birds’ Nest
    Suzanne & Larry

  5. Good job Warren. Keep up the good work.

  6. Peterson makes some excellent points, one in particular that should appeal to our prudent side: “…we can afford to wait a year with or without the waiver, as Arizona was the last state to implement Medicaid.”
    What Peterson could have added was that since Arizona waited, watched, learned, we were able to put together one of the most efficient Medicaid systems of the fifty states. Therefore, it behoves us to take baby steps here and observe how any of the states still remaining in the expansion program fair, while we see if the tottering ObamaCare program is even able to survive. Certainly prudence over a rush to judgment is called for here.

  7. Barbara Parker

    As a very informed Republican PC in the East Valley- Rep. Peterson’s article is spot on! He not only reflects the principles of good government, he is also representing his constituency. The Governor, the democrats and any of those Republican legislators voting for the expansion— are not listening to the overwhelming majority of the Arizona Voters. This expansion is wrong for Arizona, and as Warren’s article shows there is concrete rational on why this “Leviathan” government program must be stopped!

  8. Excellent article by a dedicated representative who truly cares about tne citizens of Arizona and tne future of our state. I am tired of the legislators who do tne bidding of special interests rather than what is in tne best interest of those they have been elected to represent.
    Tne governor should be ashamed of herself for vetoing bills that have nothing to do with this issue in order to get votes for her misguided quest. I rue tne day I voted for her.

  9. Suzanne & Larry Bird

    Rep. Petersen of Gilbert is right in his summary of why conservatives oppose the expansion of Obamacare (Medicaid) in Arizona. Conservatives like us, think that this free money is a just a lure to hook people. Once they are caught so to speak there will be no way of getting them back into a working environment and swimming on their own.

    Conservatives have been there and back. Many are either business owners or the middle working class Americans that know better. We know that the promises politicians make are not often kept. So more often than not the taxpayer is left with the bill. Why wouldn’t we question an administration that is increasing the debt limit over $16 trillion dollars? And why wouldn’t we want to stop such a bill that will create financial hardship for future generations of Arizonans?

    Bravo..Rep. Petersen for standing up for conservative values!

    The Birds’ Nest
    Suzanne & Larry

  10. I was wondering why all of the folks at the Pro expansion rally were wearing ties and dresses and all boarded the nice shuttle buses afterward. not your usual ‘rent a mob’ crowd. Important to note that for the most part these were admin staff and non the doctors and nurses. Shame on the hospitals for lobbying for a plan that will bankrupt not only; the state, the country but the lives of those who become dependent upon the federal teat.

  11. We support you, Warren! Thanks for all your hard work in the fight for freedom and economic stability. Keep it up!

  12. Mike Richardson

    Thank you Rep. Peterson. It is very comforting to see a principled legislator on the Republican side. We should never have to fight so hard to preserve freedom in RED state like Arizona. Something very wrong here on the home front.

  13. It is hard to imagine that the Governor does not know that this so-called “free money” comes from the taxes paid into the federal government by Arizonans. When this implodes, which it inevitably will, Arizonans will continue to pay their federal taxes and they will then have to bear tax increases in AZ to pay for the mess made by this expansion. The Governor should not be holding legislators hostage to her will. That is not her job. Her job is to serve the people of Arizona by vetoing ONLY those bills that are Constitutionally mangled…. not to use these bills as extortion against the lawmakers.
    So the real question I’d like answered is this: what is really driving this, Gov. Brewer?

  14. Thank you Warren. Keep protecting our rights and state sovereignty!

  15. Thank you Rep Petersen and all others who are opposing this mess. We cannot with a good conscience help others or make our lives easier by adding more debt to unborn generations. It is time to actually take a stand and work to fix problems and not just kick the can down the road. The deficit spending is destroying us. When will we actually buckle down and work to fix the problems instead of throwing money( by the way 50% of it that is FAKE) at it. We don’t need more government we need less,Let them concentrate on the things they are actually suppose to do.

  16. Representative Petersen is exactly right! NO to Medicaid expansion in Arizona! Without question it is Obamacare! Arizona says NO!

  17. Representative Petersen is exactly right! NO to Medicaid expansion in Arizona! It is absolutely Obamacare. Arizona says NO!

  18. Gov. Jan Brewer has been a terrible disappointment to me. Her pressure to expand Medicaid and entangle Arizona more deeply in the Federal bureaucracy is just one more example of how wrong-headed she is. Each individual state must nullify Obamacare at the state level. No appropriation of funds, acceptance of grants, or implementation of federal regulations should be done. Each state must nullify the law by opting out. Let’s not forget that the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx clearly outlines that government controlled healthcare, gun control (confiscation of the means for self defence), and income taxes (IRS) are central to the destruction of a free state and the creation of a totalitarian, communistic regime. So what has Obama been doing lately?

  19. Great Article Rep. Peterson. Since the plan’s release by the Governor’s office, supposed supporters of the plan have done nothing but repeat the reasons the Governor’s lobbyists have written. “I’ve done the math” is what I’ve heard from every supporter with a wide reaching voice. It’s rather comical, like one of those montages that Rush Limbaugh puts together of all the collaborators in the mainstream media. The fact is that all any of them have done is repeat what was fed to them. It’s refreshing to see someone like Rep. Peterson dig past the PR of an issue and examine it closely. Well done.

  20. Hope people can see through the lies and understand that bigger government means less freedoms and opportunities for individual success. The bigger this expands, the lower quality of life each and every one of us will have. Pretty frustrating to see a lot of so called “Conservatives” say one thing and then do another. They talk about lowering the deficit and debt but then expand program after program. Those who have speech and actions showing true conservative values I will support!

  21. Thank you Warren Peterson for doing what is right for Arizona and America. Truer words could not be spoken. Stay the course….many of us appreciate all you’re doing.

  22. Kemp M Farnsworth

    Mr. Petersen,

    Your remarks here are clear and logical. I extend my thanks to you and other Arizona Legislative Representatives who have demonstrated the courage to defend freedom by opposing the medicare expansion and socialized medicine in Arizona. Thanks for publicizing real facts and exposing lies about the proposed Medicare Expansion.

    Do you know what’s worse than having Barack Obama as our president?
    … the fact that 56 million people voted for him. Now we add to that shame the fact that an Arizona Republican Governor and five turncoat state senators have crossed the line to support and promote the socialization of this country.

    Good luck in your efforts,

  23. Thank you Representative Petersen for your common sense and principled stand in opposing Governor Brewer’s irresponsible proposed expansion of Obamacare into Arizona.

    Let’s be clear:

    1) The Medicaid expansion will cost much more than projected. The governor and her lobbyist cronies continue playing games with smoke and mirrors trying to minimize the already escalating costs of their socialist agenda.

    2) The expansion may do nothing to help low-income Arizonans — and likely could hurt them.

    3) The so-called “hidden health tax” won’t get fixed, but rather lead to more tax hikes.

    4) Brewer is carrying water and chopping wood for Democrats and putting politics ahead of Arizona citizens. She and her cronies are not listening to the overwhelming majority of the Arizona electorate.

    5) It is the conservatives legislators like Petersen and Biggs who are listening to and truly representing Arizona citizens.

    Cheers for Petersen and all the courageous legislators who are standing firm in opposing Brewer’s political gimmicks and misguided medical mischief.

  24. LD25 Republican

    Arizona is lucky to have a principled young leader such as Warren Petersen in the House. Stick to your guns and keep up the good work, Warren!

    As a people, we are starving for true leadership: elected representatives who stand and fight for states’ rights and limited government; legislators who make decisions that will benefit the future generations, not their re-election fund. Unfortunately, what is now called a “leader” is anything but. Most of those elected to serve are self-serving, pompous climbers. The only place they’re leading “we the people” is into debt and slavery.

    As a prime example, see the voting record of Senator Bob Worsley. Senator, we KNOW that you don’t care about the opinions of your constituents. If you run for public office again, we are going to make sure every Republican and Independent in LD25 knows it too! A vote for Worsley is a vote for bloated, intrusive government. A vote for Worsley is a vote for your tax dollars being used to fund Planned Parenthood. A vote for Worsley is a vote for debt and slavery for future generations.

  25. We need to pressure our legislators like the govener & state senators &n reps to not going along with this. sooner or later the goverment money will stop & Arizona will be stuck with the bill

  26. Adam Miscavage

    I agree that expansion is not the answer. However, the true Trojan horse here is that the whole of coverage is changing to allow your insurance companies (Medicaid, exchange, Medicare or commercial) to now micro-manage your lifestyle. For instance, if you are female and between the ages of 50 and 69, you are required to get a breast exam (radiation) which in some studies has shown to increase the likelihood of getting breast cancer. If you don’t get the exam, they can decline coverage to treat breast cancer of you get it. You do not have a say in your own health. To me, that is the ultimate tyranny hiding in this plan.

  27. Ted & Billie Bollwinkel

    Thank you for your willingness to take on this fight! And to present it in lucid laymen terms so that we can see the real issue rather than just smoke & mirrors! We support you!

  28. Thank you Rep Warren. The vote in the house distinguished who the true republican conservatives are, as it will in the senate. Now it is time for We the People do our job at the polls and start electing representatives of this Republic who abide by their oath in office. Unlike our governor who throws a tantrum like a teenager when she doesn’t get her way.
    Like many small business owners I am opposed to this expansion.

  29. Last year our legislators did yeoman’s work to bring our state budget back into order after several years of chaos. It doesn’t make sense to now turn around and undo all that work.

    The federal government is not to be trusted to hold up it’s end of the bargain and AZ will be left holding the bag.

    Thanks to those representatives who still understand the meaning of the word “represent”.

  30. Dave and Maurio Fischbeck

    What Representative Petersen writes seems very logical, square with the Constitution at the same time watching out for the pocketbook of the voter.

    THANKS to you and others like you

    Dave and Maurio Fischbeck

  31. Warren, this fight is far from over. You have done an excellent job building a coalition of Republicans to fight this over reach of the federal government. Keep fighting the good fight and we are right there with you !!

  32. Michael Gallacher

    Warren, I support everything you say. How can we defend positions like, “We must pass the bill so that we can know what is in it”. We must stop Medicaid expansion in Arizona.

  33. debbie and Lonnie Mccleve

    Thank you warren for representing our views….

  34. Thank you Rep. Warren for speaking the truth about the effects of Medicaid expansion on our state. I sent this plea to my Representatives in LD18- Rep. Robson and Rep Dial. I send this plea to all Representatives in the House:

    Here is your opportunity to show if you are for the Constitution you swore to uphold or not. Senator McComish showed his true colors and sided with Brewer Care with its Medicad Expansion. No where in the Constitution does it state we shall provide national healthcare. Will you stand for freedom or tyranny? Will you side with Republican principles of limited government or not?

    I urge you to VOTE No on Medicaid expansion and not side with the Democrats and Republicans who want to further break this nation with entitlement programs that will further increase our national debt, further erode our state soveriegnty and are completely unconstitutional.

    Medicaid expansion is Obamacare and you cannot be for one without the other.

  35. Warren:

    Thank you for fighting this. For me the argument is simple. Government expansion of any kind has never worked in the past and will therefore not work in the future. Plus it is not right for Arizona or any other state to take federal money to fund a state project. Forcing other people to pay for things that benefit others. That is tyranny!!!!

  36. As a physician I am totally against ANY expansion of Medicare whatsoever. We are taking care of things better now than we would under Obamacare. Gov. Brewer is motivated by some other ideal than true constition, small government or states rights principles. Warren we need the names of those house of reps who are wavering so we can make the calls .

  37. Lalani Hundaker

    Now is not the time to expand Medicare or to implement Obamacare. Representative Petersen is correct in his article. Hopefully clear heads will prevail in the Arizona House and they will reject Obamacare.

  38. I agree with you Warren. Thank you for helping us keep educated on what is really going on. I for one do not like my tax dollars being used to fund abortions. It seems our Government has a agenda and it certainly does not include helping our children. We do not need to continue to accumulate more debt, thank you for being a voice for many who still believe in the family!

  39. Thank you Warren for fighting for us who aren’t big enough for our voice to be heard. We appreciate all your hard work and dedication.

  40. Michael Dunn, MD

    Very well said! This is another attempt to further entrench the misguided ideals of the nanny state. This plan does nothing more that rack up charges on the credit card that my kids and grandkids will have to pay in the future.

    As a physician, I see the problems we have in healthcare everyday. Let me tell you that this fixes none of them. Get government out of my exam room! Let the principles of the free market work and it would be amazing what our health care system could accomplish!

  41. Richard S Hewson

    Just a recap. Prior to this bill, the truth came out of Nancy Pelosi’s mouth when she said, ( and I paraphrase), “We have to pass this bill before we can know what is actually in it.” There is a reason why this happened so fast and without any eyes on it.
    Obamacare was thrown together for the sole purpose of leaving a legacy. Well, their legacy has arrived, and its not good.
    Health coverage needs help, bipartisan help. The creation of Obamacare has the look and feel of a procrastinated homework assignment that was thrown together the night before it was due.
    Nothing good comes easy, and this bill did not pass because it was tried, true and tested. Lets take the time and energy needed to develop a healthcare program that is viable and well thought out.

  42. Why is that government doesn’t have foresight? Everyone knew that Obamacare was going to be massively expensive. But now it’s becoming painfully obvious that it is going to be obscenely expensive. Let’s try to defund it now instead of later before the nation goes bankrupt like Greece.
    Warren, I support your efforts 100%.

  43. Kudos to Rep. Petersen for bucking the Governor’s program to increase participation in Medicaid (Arizona’s AHCCCS). I recall that when she was floating the idea she said that only a few more people would be eligible for the expansion. Is 300,000 “a few people?” What other bits of misinformation has she put out there?
    Hopefully the members of the Arizona House of Representatives will see through all of the smoke and mirrors and vote NO on Medicaid expansion.

  44. Warren, your article is excellent. All you stated is right on the mark.
    I welcome readers who are in search of additional reasons why Obamacare Medicaid expansion is bad for Arizona … to read my recent blog post on Atridim News Journal: “Look behind the Obamacare Curtain” by Dr. Tom Patterson / former Arizona State Senator:
    Captain Rick

  45. Excellent article. I have shared it on my Facebook page as well and have encouraged my FB friends who live in AZ to read the article. Thank you for sharing this!

  46. Government always likes you to think that this is about those whom are less fortunate. When in fact it’s about all of us, but not in the way you might imagine. It’s about “Power & Control” ask yourself why a government body that consist of only 435 people would try so hard to convince over 300,000,000 people that this is good and it is the right thing to do then exclude themselves from that in which they are themselves promoting ! Let me also remind you that the Democratic party are masters at promising you everything, delivering you nothing, and then blaming it on the other guy and they have the so called media to help them do their bidding. History is our teacher if we choose to listen, if we choose not to then we my friends will be history and the lives of those that were given before us will have been for not.

  47. Thank you Warren! We need more common sense people like you representing the Republican Party here in Arizona. Instead we get representatives that seemingly have defected to the other side, ignore their constituents, and use Alinsky-like tactics to undermine their opposition. So whose side are they on anyway? We have other Republican legislators who are on the fence, unsure on how to vote. There are so many reasons to vote NO which you have so eloquently covered in your article. I truly hope our representatives listen to reason and vote to uphold the Republican principle of limited government and not mandating healthcare. Keep up the great work.

  48. Bravo Representative Petersen, how refreshing it is to see your courage to stand up and say what needs to be said. There are very few elected representatives that get it. This is not about another policy that needs to implemented, it is ultimately about tax payer freedom. Medicaid expansion is bascially Obamacare expansion, which is big government expansion. The states buy-in with strings attached, get temporary federal tax payer dollars when those dollars end, the states are forced to prop up the program with state taxpayer dollars which is the long run is financially unsustainable. All the while, corporate welfare is given to CEO’s of hospitals, and people that could be working for their health care are getting it “Free”, and the taxpayer has no choice where their dollar is being redistributed to by Progressive politicians and entities. Their is nothing free or equitable about that.

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