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Kingman Daily Miner | Kingman, Arizona

home : latest news : state February 5, 2016

3/3/2013 6:00:00 AM
Ward: Medicaid, gun rights top constituent concerns
State senator/physician puts real life experiences to work in her first term
Keli Ward
Keli Ward

KINGMAN - State Sen. Kelli Ward, a physician in private practice in Lake Havasu City, told voters last year during her first campaign for public office that the Legislature needed someone with her real life experience.

The voters agreed, sending Ward, a Republican, off to Phoenix to replace another conservative, Ron Gould, who was term-limited.

Ward and her husband, emergency room physician Dr. Michael Ward, sat down with Reporter Suzanne Adams, News Editor Alan Choate and Editor Rich Thurlow recently for an extensive talk. This first installment generally deals with health care issues as they relate to state government. A second interview, with more input from Michael Ward, is geared to medical care in general and how it might change under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). It will appear in next Sunday's Miner.

The first interview started with a general question about her take on the first few days of the legislative session.

Kelli Ward: I don't think it's been an overwhelming session, but who am I to judge? This is the first time I've been there. I think things are going pretty smoothly - not huge amounts of controversy, yet.

I think trying to reign in spending is a big challenge. So we'll see what happens between the governor's budget and the legislative budget. That could come down to the biggest battle. I think that's the thing that will prevent us from being out of session by April 27. So we'll see - hopefully, we'll actually get out by 100 days.

Miner: What's the big issue with the budget this year?

Kelli Ward: Obviously, Medicaid expansion is one. The implementation of common core is another, and (Child Protective Services) expansion also. I think those are probably the big chunks, but there's a whole bunch of little chunks too.

The legislative side doesn't implement any new policy. It basically does it based-on budget, based on what's already there. Our side doesn't implement anything new like the governor. She put some new spending in her budget that we haven't.

I don't know what will happen with that. So then it's just wrangling between what happens with those, but I get to hear it in appropriations.

So they all come to your office. The education people come, and the Medicaid people come, and the corrections people come, and the courts have been in there. Everyone has been in there to say, "Hey, don't forget about us."

So that's nice for me because I get to hear it more than once. And as a new person, I'm hearing it for the first time.

Miner: What about Medicaid expansion? Is there a lot of opposition, a lot of turmoil over the expansion?

Kelli Ward: There's a lot of support for Medicaid expansion from big business, and to some extent smaller business, but not as much as bigger business, the chambers of commerce.

I don't know that I've gotten a letter from the Kingman Chamber of Commerce, but I've gotten one for sure from Lake Havasu that was written in support and the Arizona chamber is also for it. All the hospitals are for it. I talked to Brian Turney [CEO of Kingman Regional Medical Center].

I think on a personal level a lot of people think, "Oh, I don't know that this is such a good idea." But as an entity that's trying to survive, they think, "Well, if I could get an infusion of cash or capital in here, we could stay open and keep our doors open and serve the people we want."

You're hearing from a lot of hospital organizations, and the physician organizations, and the nursing organizations, but whenever the people come, even the people that are lobbying, some of the people say, "Well, our organization is lobbying for this today, but personally I don't support it." And that's a hard place to be for people who are coming to pass something that they don't really want to pass.

On the other side, from the normal, you know just the average Joe Citizen, the overwhelming majority of those emails and letters and phone calls that I get have been to don't allow, to stop Medicaid expansion.

You guys know that I did the town halls last weekend - one in Kingman Regional, one in Bullhead and one in Havasu. We saw between 100 and 120 people. I didn't count all the people that were there. I probably estimate on the lower side. We asked the question: "Do you want expansion or not?" And it was overwhelming.

There were only nine people between all of the three places that said, "We want expansion." The majority of those were at the KRMC one, where there were a lot of KRMC employees and a lot of managerial level staff who realize that money is important to the budget at the hospital. There were seven people. The other two were between Bullhead and Havasu. So, that to me says something - that it's definitely something that we have to work on.

Miner: Where are you right now on the issue?

Kelli Ward: I'm still considering, but I'm probably leaning toward not voting for expansion. Though I don't know how effective my individual vote will be, because I think that there are a lot of people there that do want it.

But for me and there's a lot of things that I think of that I wonder, why aren't other people who are supportive of this thinking, thinking of these things.

One of the big things for me is workforce. There's not a workforce development plan in place for the expansion. ...

Mike Ward: In Arizona or nationally ...

Kelli Ward: Right. Anywhere. In Arizona we want to put 300,000-plus people straight in to the AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System) rolls and say, "Now, system, figure out how to take care of them."

I don't know about you guys, if you've tried to make a doctor's appointment lately. But it's not like you can get one today in most cases, other than if you go to an urgent care or an emergency room. That's supposed to be reserved for when you have an emergency.

So when we put 300,000 more people into the system, where is the primary care that's going to be the best care, the care that they need, going to come from? We don't have a plan for that.

I'll hear arguments on the other side that, "Oh, well, 200,000 of the people were already on Medicaid and we froze that with the 204 population, the childless adults, and we were able to take care of those people just fine."

But I think that's a little bit of an exaggeration. I know that patients have a very hard time getting primary care appointments. So we don't have a plan to make more.

So I equate it to when you get a frequent flyer ticket and you're all excited to use it and then all the dates are blacked out. I think we're going to give people a Medicaid card and then they're going to try to make appointments and all the dates are going to be blacked out. There's not going to be anywhere for them to go other than the emergency department.

Miner: Which is what you were trying to avoid in the first place.

Kelli Ward: Right. The (Center for Disease Control) has on their website, on their statistics, they have a 2000 to 2010 study that shows that people on Medicaid nationally, are more than two times as likely to seek care in an emergency department, than those who are uninsured or those who have private insurance. So, we're getting 300,000 people with a Medicaid card who feel like, "Well I'm going to go to the ER."

Then, as that population rises, the population of privately insured people goes down. So are we creating something that's sustainable? Personally, I don't think so. I think that we're creating something that destined to fall.

I'm concerned that we're going to do a tax on the hospitals, a provider tax. They like to call it a provider assessment because if you say "tax," people throw their hands up and say, "Oh my gosh, no." But it really is a tax that the hospitals are asking for, to tax themselves in order to put money in to do the federal match.

So this is another one of my concerns. They want to put [in] $154 million to get $1.6 plus billion. Well, wouldn't you like that investment too, if you could make your money increase exponentially? I think anyone would want to do that.

But the other side is, I don't think that $1.6 billion obviously is going to ... Well, No. 1, we're borrowing over 40 percent of every dollar that we spend at the federal level. So some of that money isn't even real. I talked to Congressman (David) Schweikert at the Lincoln Day Dinner last week and he just laughed that we think that we're going to continue to get that money on a long-term basis. He said, you might think that you're going to get it for a year, you might get it for a year, but after that all bets are off. So that's not something that's going to be sustainable.

Then we have the circuit breaker. You hear all about "Oh well Arizona's got a circuit breaker." All of these conservative governors, if they're thinking about Medicaid expansion, they're saying, "We're going to put something in there that allows us, if the federal government falls down on their part of the bargain, that we can suddenly stop it."

I have some issues with that. One, that we have to have permission from the federal government to trip the circuit breaker. So that's one hurdle. Are they going to let us actually activate this plan? I think that that's put out there to ease the minds of people who might have to pay the taxes to support it.

For the first couple of years it's going to cover 100 percent of that population that we expand. OK, so 100 percent. So, then eventually it's going down to 90 percent. Well, that difference between 100 and 90 is about $200 million. So, we've got to find the money somewhere for that $200 million.

Then, to trip the circuit breaker, it has to fall from 90 to down to 80 percent. So, if the federal match falls down to 80 percent, there's another $200 million that we're supposed to find somewhere before the circuit breaker can even be thought about being tripped.

So where this $400 million is going to come from, I don't know.

So that of course worries me, and I think it worries people who are taxpayers. You know, where is that going to come from? But nobody really talks about that 90 to the 80. They just say we have a circuit breaker, but there's a painful process to get to that circuit breaker. If they even let us trip it.

The other part of the provider tax ... Right now, they're basing that on Phoenix-area bed tax that was done just for Phoenix, where they were assessed a 6 percent tax.

So, their calculations are that on a statewide basis, we're going to need about 2 - 2.5, maybe 3 percent, between 2 and 3 percent of the tax to get the amount of money, $154 million, that they think they need to get to the federal match.

Well, the federal government, though, is looking at those provider assessments and those bed taxes and is talking about limiting how much, what percent we're actually going to be able to use to tax those people ... to tax the entities that want to be taxed. What is that percent? Because they want to do that in order to decrease the federal deficit. So they're contemplating what to do.

I know we don't live in what if. We live in what is. But if that goes down to a level where those hospitals, that we're going to get all this money for... because they also told me whenever I ask about that 90 to 80 percent, they're like, "Oh, we'll just raise the bed tax and we'll get it from that."

OK, the hospitals are now going to give us $354 million or $554 million? I don't know that that's going to be possible, because they also say on the other side that they're not going to expand or increase the cost of care to patients who come in.

I don't know how you would do $154 million, let alone $350 or $550 million, and not increase the cost of care at the other end and be able to survive.

If they decrease that and we can't get the match, where's that going to come from? Obviously it's going to come from the general fund. Well, where do we get money from the general fund? Well, we get it from sales tax and income tax. That's pretty much where it comes from.

That, to me, is a dilemma. I think it's short-sighted to just say, "Let's take the money now and run." Because once you take it, it's going to be very difficult to say, "We don't want it anymore."

The other issue that's there, that I haven't heard anyone talk about it, except me, is right now, the federal government is contemplating comprehensive immigration reform. We don't know when it's going to come into effect, but it looks like they wanna to at least talk a lot about that right now.

If we get comprehensive immigration reform - which I agree, we need to do something about our immigration system - the estimate is 11 million people in the country. There's a large percentage of that population in Arizona. What happens when those people that are here suddenly have some type of legal status?

Right now they're illegal. Illegals do not have access to our Medicaid system. They do have access to our health system and many of them pay their bills and some of them don't. So, some of that is uncompensated care. I mean, it's not just people who are here illegally that do that. It's just that people who don't have insurance don't always pay, or pay a low percentage of the time.

But that population worries me, too. Because we have, who knows, how many hundreds of thousands of people in Arizona that will be getting some kind of legal status. Many of them may be under the 138 percent federal poverty level threshold that suddenly will be thrust into our system that no one is calculating into the potential costs.

I talked to Don Hews, who's the governor's health policy analyst. He said, "We can't address that. We have no idea what's going to happen or if it's going to happen or what's going to happen. We can't think about that because we just don't know."

And I'm like, well when we don't know, that's when we get into trouble with things that involve mandatory spending for a certain population. I think those are all things that we just really have to think hard about before we just jump in and say, "Give us the money," because it's going to affect the people of Arizona.

Now, of course, I want them to have access to high quality, cost-effective health care. I want as many people as possible to have that, but that "as many people as possible" is the rub. How many people can we do that for and what is the health care they want to get?

I've been getting emails. I got an email from one of our friends. His wife is a nurse from Lake Havasu. She just went on Medicare. She wanted to go to Mayo Clinic to get her knee checked. So, they filled out their little paperwork online, didn't hear anything. So they called and said "Hey, we want to come down for an appointment so she can get her knee checked."

"Oh, we're sorry we don't accept Medicare."

So they said, "Don't even worry about it. We'll pay you cash. She wants to come there. She wants to be seen."

They said, "No, we're not taking any new patients."

He said, "Well, its nice to watch the best health care in the world just pass me right by and I have no ability to jump in there and get a piece of it. Even if I'm willing to pay money for it."

I don't know what their rationale was behind not getting letting them get an appointment. I wonder if it could be because they have Medicare, Mayo worries that they would try to fall back on Medicare as a payment source and they don't want to encourage that, which as a private business, that's their right to do.

But you just think, "Well, huh, it's already started."

Someone today sent me a message on Facebook, that said, "My husband is 76 and he keeps getting notices that his medicines are not medically necessary." She, of course, is thinking, "is he too old to get medicine? Why isn't he going to get it?"

I don't know what the rationale behind that is either.

Medicare Advantage is going to be cut significantly. Millions, hundreds of millions of dollars to Advantage programs that so many of our people here in our rural part of the state use are going to lose that. They're going to be forced back into traditional Medicare.

If they don't, their Social Security income will be penalized. They'll be penalized, too. It's not just like they're going to get everything for nothing. That's what I think people have to remember - nothing is free.

I almost have stopped using the word free, other than "free" dom. Anything that they tell you is free has a cost to someone, and that's what I think people have to realize and remember. So don't get sucked in by the hype that everyone is going have free health care.

Miner: What are you hearing from constituents?

Kelli Ward: The things that I've gotten the most emails on, from our district, are maintaining our Second Amendment rights. I'll tell you that for every one for any other thing, I get at least two, if not three, from our district. It's funny, because I've talked to the some of the Democrats in the House and they've said, "Your constituents are emailing us too."

And I was like, "Well, maybe they're just trying to get you on the right side of this issue, remembering that we do have the right to keep and bear arms."

Miner: Hypothetically, if there was a Democrat majority in the Legislature, do you really see anything happening to the Second Amendment?

Kelli Ward: I think if there was a Democrat majority, they would definitely decrease the size of magazines. They would definitely ...

Mike Ward: They've already introduced some bills.

Kelli Ward: (Sen. Ed) Ableser introduced a lot of bills. He's always saying that anybody that talks about guns on my side is wasting the taxpayer's time, but he's introduced legislation that's so far to the left that it would never go through. And I don't know how that's not a waste of time, because he's got [legislative] counsel drafting the bills. You can look up some of his legislation. He's definitely on the gun control side.

But the magazines would go down. They would want universal background checks. They would want a ban on assault weapons. I would put "assault weapons" in quotes. They would ban guns that look scary to them.

Miner: Do you think you could find a majority of Democrats to do that, if they had a majority?

Kelli Ward: I do.

Yesterday, we had our big union fight. Well, one of them because there are still some bills coming on that. But the first one didn't pass in the Senate, on the third read.

(Senate Bill) 1182 was the paycheck protection or we like to say employee protection. For me, I think employees ... they should be the ones we're most protecting to say "yes" or "no."

They showed me the form. There's three pages, they're not even full pages. They're three little quarter pages. Most of the information is your name and your address. I counted 28 lines total on those three pages to fill out. For me I don't think that's outrageous.

I think that as professionals, people who are professionals in whatever industry should be willing to take on the responsibility for something that they think is important.

For me, I don't get my dues paid for my Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association, my family physician organization. Nobody just takes those out of my check automatically.

I'm sure the organization would love it, believe me, because their membership would be much higher, if it was automatic.

But for me, those are important things to belong to and so I take the time to either write a check or submit my credit card or call them on the phone and say, "Hey, don't forget I still want to be in."

I think that everybody should be offered that opportunity. Rather than have their money just automatically taken for something they may want to be apart of. But I still think that having the individual do it is more important to freedom and individual liberty.

Miner: What about the fire district bills that are going through the Legislature?

Kelli Ward: Sen. (Chester) Crandell had probably the broadest, because he said the county's "shall" not "may." He actually yesterday changed that bill. He did a striker to say its just going to be a study committee.

There's going to be several members for several different aspects to investigate what's actually happening in the fire districts. The counties are going to be included in that as well.

I did hear from Mohave County. They do not want that bill and they don't want Rep. (Sonny) Borelli's bill either, the "may."

So, hopefully the study committee will allow the information to be gathered and then you can determine if legislation is actually needed.

You don't want to have too many study committees. You can't just have a study committee for everything. I like the idea of them because I like to do as little legislation as possible. I'm always telling people "Can't you resolve this non-legislatively? Can't you all get together so that we don't have to make a new law about this?"

For myself, I sponsored a bill that was going to allow ... right now there is a rule that says that pediatric patients that are not emergent have to be shipped to a place that has a pediatric unit. So, if they're emergent you need to stabilize them overnight, you can keep them, but if there's a kid that's dehydrated or if there's a kid with asthma and you're worried that they're going to have trouble through the night but they're not emergent, you have to ship them from a hospital that doesn't have pediatric place to ...

Mike Ward: Especially the rural hospitals.

Kelli Ward: Yes, the rural hospitals are most affected, especially small ones. And the patient population that they're serving is the most harmed by that because the patient has to go, the family has to go and generally they're sent back home the next day from where ever they went - to Vegas, to Phoenix, to Tucson, through out the state. They're shipped to these hospitals that have a pediatric unit.

So, I made a bill and then I talked to (the Arizona Department of Health Services) and they're like, we will do this in a rule. We will just change the rule and I said, OK.

But then the politics side, someone said why don't you just introduce the bill so you get credit for it and then you can do whatever.

I was like, I don't need to get credit for it. I just want the issue resolved. So I just had it pulled from the calendar altogether. Why waste the taxpayers' time addressing something just so I get credit? There's no reason to do that.

So, I said, "I'm going to be watching you DHS, and if this doesn't get resolved by next time, we'll bring this back. And they're like, 'No, no, we should have it done within six to eight months.'"

But those are the kinds of things that I think are important. Getting all the stakeholders at the table is also important because a lot of times you can resolve things without needing legislative input or interference. I'm a small government person. I want less not more.

Liquid Chicken
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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, March 9, 2013
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

@The Rear Free Lunch

The oil and health insurance "subsidies" are the same tax write off that any business can take.
The practice of referring to these write off as subsidies when they apply to "evil" business like oil or health insurance comes from the left, who uses class warfare as a tool to hook the unthinking portion of the American public.
(Feel that hook in the roof of your mouth?)

Do you use write offs, or take exemptions on your taxes? Or do you, perhaps, take advantage of tax credits, especially refundable tax credits? Well, using the liberal vernacular, those are subsidies. Refundable tax credits are really "rear free lunches".

The money that goes to public charter schools is the same money that would be spent to educate the same children regardless of where they attend public education. Many public charters do an excellent job of educating their students, which, sounds like an efficient use of tax payer money.

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: Needed - A Well-Informed Electorate

Yea, all those wanting to see the real health industry - Time Magazine.

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Harris

Samuel Adams, poor thing. Tea Baggers are what they called themselves when they began the Tea Party. It was only after someone pointed out what tea bagging meant that they distanced themselves from the term.

And no I don't consider myself homophobic - just an out proud gay man. But thanks for asking.

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: The Rear Free Lunch Takers are The Ward Class

No Biker, we don't want a free lunch. We're just tired of provided freeloaders like Ward their free lunches.

Amazing all these Republicans scream about the "47%" yet they don't see their Republican representative are the first ones with their hands out for that free lunch. Usually their free lunch costs us a lot more than our free lunch and is called things like oil subsidies, charter school payments, no-bid contracts, government subsidies to health care companies, etc. Our free lunch is call unemployment insurance (which we pay when we work), ADC which we pay in our taxes, and food stamps that tie us over in tough times.

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

The health care law which many with a issue with a non-white fellow in white house thing is law and once its fully implemented as social security, medicare, medicaid was it will be one of them things untouchable in fact I predict its a precursor to single payer for everyone which this lady doctor turned politician is in that category who have a person stake at issue, their income is connected to the public insurance monoply and she is one of them folks who has been bilking the citizens with them $5 asprins no doubt and sees them good old days waning! The only ones who really dislike socialized medicine is those who profit from the system we have now!

Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013
Article comment by: The Fox Hound

It is quite obvious who Mrs Ward intends to protect during her time in office and it is the status quo. No surprise to me but I don't drink the Tea. The Miner did its usual job of tossing her softball questions instead of doing a real interview. No surprise there either. I would strongly advise your readers that if they want to know the truth about healthcare and what is really wrong with the system they read the article in Time Magizine about the heathcare industry that Mrs Ward and her husband want to perpetuate. The reason our heathcare is broken is that doctors and hospitals can charge whatever they deem necessary regardless what it actually cost to provide the service. There is no other industry that has this power, and of course they want it to continue. Obamacare is just a make over of a Republican plan that they would have been quite happy with if a republican had put it in place.

Posted: Monday, March 4, 2013
Article comment by: Samuel Adams

@Frank Harris: you show your lack of honesty or class when you use an insulting gay slang term (are YOU homophobic?) to describe those with whom you disagree.

You fail to acknowledge the probability that the Obama corruptocrats were "Buying the support" of big pharma and big hospitals at the expense of Doctors and patients.

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Article comment by: Jim Consolato

Now this Senator Kelli Ward is the type of Representative I have been personally screaming for over recent years. Finally an elected representative with a true "servant's attitude", someone who would rather resolve an issue without another piece of legislation if possible. Some one who listens to their Joe Citizen constituents and is not overly swayed by special interest so called "Stakeholders". Senator Ward exemplifies that quality described in the word "Excellence". What a refreshing change from what has been an historic Mohave County willingness to accept mediocrity in our representatives. Bravo Kelli Ward. Keep it going.

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Article comment by: biker randy

Dr. Ward, I voted for you and am so glad my vote was for the good. Those that attack you only want only 1 thing, a free lunch at someone elses expense. They care not of what it takes to implement such a deal. All they care about is if they get it. You have the experience, knowledge to tell the truth of what "progressive ideas" cost to all. Obviously some here don't want to here the truth.

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Article comment by: Frances Perkins

Quick points. Ward has co-sponsored some of the completely goofy bills that get submitted every year, wasting time. Are the Ward's concerns about health care include concerns about the perceived threat to their own compensation? Paranoia about guns is a complete waste of time. Mohave County is awash in guns, there is no shortage nor threat. Will she continue to kowtow to the Goldwater Institute and ALEC? There are almost no one in Mohave County that are members. Will she continue the special interest tax giveaways her majority always does? Will she get public schools the funds they need to do the never ending mandates on them from Phoenix? It is not about common core, it is about the 20% cut and more the school districts got over the last four years. Teachers in Arizona already poorly paid, have had no raises in six years. Will you continue the government assault on reproductive freedoms? You worry about guns, but what about your effort to have the reproduction police in every personal decision? Finally how about broadening the tax base, and lowering the rates.

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Article comment by: L J

Get all the lobbylist out of the State house! Listen to the people who elected you! I can't believe the CEO of KRMC
panhandling for more $ when they own everything on Stockton Hill Rd. My wife & I pay $1100.00mo. For health ins. while our paycheck is smaller! Our co-pay kepts going up and people on Medicaid pay little to nothing ! How about representing us the working class you know we're the ones who really pays the bills in this State & Country
not the rich or the poor! Policticans need to be reminded
It's not there money it's ours!

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@concerned citizen

"Gosh! Is there anything else the Miner could have asked her??? She won a State Sen position in Phoenix, not Emperor of the World!"

I suspect you would not be so critical of the articles length had she been a democrat.

Hopefully the person who held a gun to your head and forced you to read the long informative article is now gone.


Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Article comment by: AN ANTI- WOMAN WOMAN

Ward is one of the most ANTI_woman representative I have ever seen elected. Shes a sad excuse for a rep!

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Article comment by: Al DiCicco

Kelli Ward is doing a great job getting the information and considering all sides. She is so right, government must stop borrowing to expand mandates. Furthermore, Federal money has strings attached. It is clearly a complicated situation, motivated by good from some and by money and greed and control by others. Budget cuts and more budgets cuts, starting at the top of the bureaucracy chain would be nice. Stop thinking of taxing us anymore! We need less taxes every year. If they do expand Medicaid, $10 co-payments for care can discourage some abuse.

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Article comment by: Speech Patterns Reveal Much

The image of a high school girl talking to her friends before class kept interfering with that of my state senator when I read her words, "So, I made a bill...and I said, OK...I was like, I don't need to get credit... So, I said, 'I'm going to be watching you DHS...And they're like, 'No, no..."

"I'm a small government person." - Senator Ward immediately came to mind.

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Article comment by: concerned citizen

Is there anything else the Miner could have asked her???
She won a State Sen position in Phoenix, not Emperor of the World!

This article is even longer than their lost dog story!

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Article comment by: I'm Concerned

"Can't you resolve this non-legislatively? Can't you all get together so that we don't have to make a new law about this?" What was her determination on the subject of payroll deductions given this point of view. This woman is amazingly selective in how she approaches issues.

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Article comment by: A Good Representative Listens to All Views

Her web page states “…strengthening her Republican/Conservative values by introducing her to talk radio and Rush Limbaugh.” That says it all.

Ms Ward, please try listening to other points of interest other that far right. You owe it to ALL your constituents.

You might turn your dial to 1480 am while on your morning drive to the senate chambers in Phoenix. Try to see the other side's view of issues.

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Article comment by: Please Try to Focus on What is Needed - Improving Our Economy

Since she is so concerned about frivolous bills perhaps she'd like to explain:

Her sponsorship of SB 1112 which is unnecessary given no federal gun laws have advanced to restrict gun ownership. Also even if such laws were to be enacted, is she willing to waste our state's time and money to fight SB1112 in court since it will no doubt be challenged. Speaking of wasting our tax money what's her position on Brewer and her Republicans spending our money on the "birther issue."

And what about "wasting" time on SB 1439 - we sure need another means of legal exchange other than the US Dollar. Sounds frivolous to me.

It seems her determination of frivolous are those bills that don't suit her political leanings

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Harris

Medicare expansion - interesting that Ward found medical organization for it and individuals not. I suspect if she were to ask for those representing the organizations specifics about the expansion, she'd get intelligent responses showing a strong understanding of the issue. On the other hand those against it - most don't even know what it is, how much the expansion will cost our state if we were to go it alone, or what the overall costs are to hospitals and the medical community and the public of someone requiring care who does not have any coverage or any money.

Senator Ward, understand that organizations' positions are rooted in research of the topic while most of the Tea Baggers you talk with at these Republican sponsored "townhalls" are influenced by FoxNews and other right wing, anti-Obama media. Try this, ask those individuals specifics about the program. I think you'd quickly find out which side of the issue you should be on.

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

Thank you, Kelli Ward! It is wonderful to be represented by someone with common sense, who values freedom, and researches issues and thinks of the long term effect before signing on to the bills.

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Article comment by: Rick O'Shea

Good article and good job Senator Ward, but that's why I voted for you, keep up the fight against the freedom killing, socialists, tax & spenders aka Democrats.

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