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Riches: Scottsdale has the opportunity to promote healthcare freedom


Many of Arizona’s cities are notorious for restricting free market principles, property rights and innovation. Consequently, at the Goldwater Institute – where we specialize in defending citizens whose rights have been violated by the government – the majority of our lawsuits in Arizona are against local governments. Sadly, this stifling of development often comes at a high price: fewer jobs, a contracting economy and unaffordable prices for goods and services.

This is particularly true when it comes to healthcare. Now, Scottsdale has the chance to buck the trend by approving plans for a brand-new, privately funded medical campus that will help meet the Valley’s growing need for more efficient, cost-effective healthcare services, as well as create jobs.

In no aspect of our lives is the freedom to make decisions for yourself and your family more important than the delivery of medical services – especially today. An estimated 100,000 people are expected to move to the north Valley over the next few years, even as our state ranks 42nd in the nation for hospital beds per 1,000 residents and faces a doctor shortage. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Fortunately, Scottsdale can help alleviate this growing problem. Banner Health has proposed building a new medical campus in north Scottsdale that will include a new hospital, a cancer treatment center, cardiovascular care, orthopedics and neuroscience experts. As Arizona’s population continues to grow, these services will be greatly needed by residents across the Valley and the entire state.

Banner already owns the 48-acre parcel for the medical campus, and the proposal complies with Scottsdale’s General Plan. The current zoning on Banner’s property allows development that would be far more extensive than the proposed medical campus. Considering the healthcare and job benefits of the proposed facility, it would be nonsensical for the Scottsdale City Council to deny Banner the right to use their land as they see fit—particularly in a state that can ill afford it.

When it comes to healthcare in Arizona, more is better. At Goldwater, we’ve led the way nationally by passing “Right to Try” legislation, which ensures terminally ill patients have access to lifesaving treatments without first begging for government permission, and statewide by supporting the freedom of small and large businesses alike to improve our region’s healthcare and economic portfolio.

As should always be the case in a free market, Banner will assume all the risk with this new medical campus. If it fails, it will be the private company’s burden to bear. But if it succeeds, Arizonans in search of healthcare options will be the ultimate winners.

All levels of government in our state owe it to Arizonans to not stand in the way of development and innovation. Scottsdale now has the opportunity to help lead the way in the delivery of healthcare services in our state — and promote free market principles that will benefit all Arizonans.