Arizona governor vetoes interstate insurance purchasing

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 16, 2011

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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill April 28 that would have allowed individual Arizonans and small businesses to buy health insurance from out-of-state insurance companies.

The bill would have permitted health plans licensed in other states to sell policies in Arizona, bypassing benefit mandates adopted by the state Legislature. Brewer said in her April 28 veto letter that the Legislature had carefully weighed each of these mandates, and therefore they should not change based on legislative decisions in other states. She said she shares the Legislature's concerns about the cost of health insurance, but that the bill would have limited the Arizona Dept. of Insurance's ability to regulate out-of-state health plans and could have put local policyholders at risk.

Bill supporters said it was an attempt to give individuals and small businesses the ability to buy insurance from around the country, an option available only to larger employers. Brewer received thousands of calls, emails and other contacts about the bill.

The Arizona Medical Assn. did not return messages seeking comment on the bill and the veto. The Arizona Nurses Assn. had sent a letter to Brewer signed by 30 other health care organizations opposing the bill.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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