Governor Doug Ducey, a businessman with no direct healthcare experience, has recently signed (at least) three path breaking pieces of legislation.
We’ve already discussed Arizona’s law that will allow patients to order diagnostic tests without a physician’s order.
A few days ago, he signed another bill, H.B 2417, which confirms that when a patient pays money directly to physicians or other providers, the amount must be credited to their health plan’s deductible. This will improve price transparency and the physician-patient relationship.
(I am quite well acquainted with two major backers of this bill, Senator Nancy Barto and Dr. Eric Novack, and they know that I have never been completely comfortable with the bill. As I saw it, if your health plan did not have a doctor in network and you chose that doctor, the problem is for you and your health plan – not the government – to sort out. I would still hold that position if you were free to buy your own health plan. However, you are not: Your employer choses your health plan; and Obamacare mandates coverage.)
Finally, Arizona has doubled down on opposition to Obamacare, with the governor signing a bill preventing any public money being spent on a health insurance exchange. Arizona currently has a federal exchange. If the Supreme Court decides (in King vs. Burwell), that tax credits cannot flow through a federal exchange, Arizona will be cut off from Obamacare for good.