Arizona could lead states in debate over health insurance mandates

The state of Arizona could play an important role in the coming months on a brewing debate over whether citizens should be required to purchase health insurance policies.

The state of Arizona could play an important role in the coming months on a brewing debate over whether citizens should be required to purchase health insurance policies.

A proposal currently pending in Congress would impose fines of varying amounts on people who fail to purchase coverage, with an eye on trying to cut down on the number of uninsured people nationwide. The idea is modeled after a law that Massachusetts enacted in 2006.

However, opponents of such mandates are starting efforts in at least 10 states, according to a New York Times report, with Arizona having already had a failed ballot measure on the matter in 2008.

According to the Times, the Arizona proposal failed by less than 9,000 votes out of a total of 2 million, and opponents of such mandates are set to get the question back on the ballot in 2010. If the law were to pass, it would set up an interesting and precedent-setting policy and legal dispute between the states and federal government.

Meanwhile, whether or not a mandate is included in any health insurance reform bill by Congress, consumers are always advised to secure some kind of coverage in the event of a major illness or injury.

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Posted: September 28, 2009

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