Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) signed an executive order this week enabling health coverage of gender-transition surgeries for state employees. This decree has sparked heated debates about the fundamental conservative principles of limited government and how this could potentially exacerbate the financial burdens placed on Arizona taxpayers.
Hobbs’ move comes amid previous state restrictions that, since 2017, denied gender-affirming surgeries to state employees. The governor asserts these moves are about fighting discrimination: “Our LGBTQ+ community should never have to face hate and discrimination. We will continue working until Arizona is a place where every individual can participate equally in our economy and our workforce without fear of discrimination or exclusion.”
However, critics argue that this sweeping order, which drastically alters the provision of healthcare services for state employees, was implemented without thoroughly evaluating the associated costs and implications for taxpayers. Does this new policy cater to a broader social justice goal, or does it reflect an unwarranted expansion of government involvement in individual health decisions?
I feel sorry for the people of Arizona, because Hobbs is destroying that state day by day. https://t.co/chnFfH5qye
— Ichiro (@Ichiro511967) June 28, 2023
The lingering dispute over the legitimacy of her narrow victory in the 2022 gubernatorial race adds to the contention around Gov. Hobbs’ decision. Hobbs’ opponent, Kari Lake, a candidate strongly aligned with the America First principles, maintains that she is the legitimate victor. The ongoing controversy over the election’s results, as detailed by the America First Policy Institute (AFPI), points to an alarming discrepancy of about 8,241 votes in the state’s general election. This issue has not been resolved, leading many to question the legitimacy of Hobbs’ administration.
A democratic society in the digital age should never face such glaring weaknesses in its election process. As the AFPI suggests, states like Ohio are taking proactive steps to modernize election laws and procedures. Ohio’s DATA Act, for example, emphasizes the importance of transparent election processes, which should be the norm in the 21st century, ensuring the absence of discrepancies before certification.
The governor’s supporters might see her order as a step toward inclusivity and equality. Yet, many others, especially those with conservative and fiscally responsible viewpoints, worry that it signals a trend of increasingly expansive government control over personal and financial matters.
For them, this isn’t simply about the controversial nature of gender-transition surgeries or a single order from Hobbs. It is about balancing governmental responsibility and individual liberty, a tenet central to conservative philosophy. It’s about safeguarding taxpayers from unpredictable financial burdens, and it’s about the future of a government that respects the rules and norms that protect its citizens.