By Guest Opinion | Arizona Capitol Times
One year into the coronavirus pandemic, Arizona has suffered greatly, but the chance for vaccination gives us some hope. The sheer scale of the sickness – over 800,000 cases in our state, resulting in over 56,000 people hospitalized, and more than 15,000 dead – has revealed some shortcomings in our public health system, in and many cases it has made those shortcomings worse.
As a state senator, I worked with my fellow legislators and with Healthcare Rising Arizona to address those shortcomings. We offered three bills to chart out improvements in our health care system, addressing both access to care and the cost of care, as well as taking steps to safeguard the health and safety of the healthcare professionals who have worked hard for a solid year of stress and struggle.
I am sorry to report that even with the coronavirus pandemic raging, Arizona’s Legislature failed to hold a single hearing on one of the three urgent bills we championed. Even more worrisome, neither health committee passed a bill related to the pandemic. Last week, the deadline for holding hearings on bills passed.
The three bills that we introduced in Arizona’s Legislature can make a real difference in people’s lives.