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Health care changes could make ballot in Arizona

Arizona voters could get to decide on major changes in health care policies and new mandates on hospitals in November’s election. PHOENIX — Arizona voters could get to decide on some major changes in health care policies and new mandates on hospitals even as the state continues to grapple with COVID-19.

Petitions filed last Thursday with the state seek to require: Hospitals to comply with certain national standards of infection control;

New protections for patients against “surprise” medical bills from doctors in hospitals who turn out to not be “in network’’;

A guarantee that individuals with pre-existing conditions will be able to obtain insurance if the federal Affordable Care Act is repealed;

Pay hikes of 20 percent pay hike for hospital workers — not including executive and doctors — over the next four years.

Backers say they submitted more than 425,000 signatures to put the issue on the November ballot. They need just 237,645 of those to be valid to qualify.The campaign, financed by a California-based union, actually started last year. But spokesman Rodd McLeod said the current health crisis underlines the need for the changes.“What COVID has done is it’s reveal some of the cracks in our public health […]

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