Category Archives: Arizona 98

Save Arizona Lives, Make This Video Viral


The campaign to save the lives of the Arizona citizens who were promised and then denied Medicaid coverage for their terminal illnesses is picking up steam.  Organizations from all over the United States and the world are joining the effort to get the Arizona legislature and Governor Jan Brewer to reverse their inhuman decision. 

Two of our Allies, Transplant Recipients International (TRIO) and The FAIR Foundation have thrown their significant weight behind this effort and they are having a huge impact.  

Visible cracks in the Brewer administration foundation are appearing daily.  Arizona legislative leaders are now saying they want to review the decision, even Governor Brewer has indicated she might, might be willing to discuss the issue but that will only happen if they really feel the pressure.

To this point Governor Brewer has defended her decision by using inaccurate and, in some cases, totally false data but it is being challenged daily by prominent physicians, medical associations and even, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) which usually steers clear of controversial subjects (UNOS coordinates all organ transplants in the United States). 

All of the Television networks, have been reporting on the issue as have newspapers and radio stations.  Our Video, “A Promise Broken” which was released yesterday January 6, 2011 has been watched by thousands from all over the world but we are just getting started.  We need to continue to build the pressure the Arizona politicians are beginning to feel. 

“A Promise Broken” is a powerful six minute PowerPoint slide show that exposes the misinformation campaign that has resulted in the deaths of two Arizonans already.  You can view this compelling presentation at www.savethearizona98.com  or on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yq5cGoRMne4  Permission is granted for appropriate use of this production to advance the cause of reversing the Arizona decision to deny transplants. 

On You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yq5cGoRMne4 you can find it under “Save the Arizona 98” but because we have little in the way of financial resources we had to upload an evaluation copy created by some free internet software so please be patient as you watch it if it slows down a bit. 

As noted we have no funding to promote this video and we won’t make any from its release because it viewing is free, that’s why we need your help to make it viral.  Please view it and if you like it pass on the URL to others. Post it wherever you can because every time you do we get one step closer to saving lives. 

Because of the Arizona decision to deny organ transplants to Medicaid patients two people have already died.  The longer it takes to change the law, the more deaths we will see.  That’s just not acceptable, so join the cause, and make “A Promise Broken” viral.  Do it now, the lives you save could be someone near and dear to you.  If Arizona gets away with this, it will begin to happen in other states.  The video should become viral…not the program that causes the deaths.

Please help, now.  Your fellow Americans are counting on you. www.savethearizona98.comhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yq5cGoRMne4

If you go to www.savethearizona98.com you’ll find some links on the left side of the page that not only take you to the video but also offer you an opportunity to buy T-shirts and other products (all the profits go to the National Transplant Assistance Fund (NTAF) or there’s a link where you can contribute directly to NTAF and purchase nothing. 

When you click “Play” on “A Promise Broken” let it roll.  The slides will change automatically.  When you’ve finished viewing it you are invited to tell others about it. No permission is needed for it to be used in a manner appropriate to the cause.  Also, we’d appreciate if you returned to Bob’s NewHeart and commented about what you’ve seen.

Please visit and join my Facebook site, ORGAN Transplant Initiative http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=152655364765710  OR — my Facebook home Page http://www.facebook.com/?sk=messages&tid=10150094667020070#!/ . 

 The more members we get the greater our impact on increasing life saving organ donation

Please comment in the space provided or email your thoughts to me at bob@baronson.org.  And – please spread the word about the immediate need for more organ donors.  There is nothing you can do that is of greater importance.  If you convince one person to be a donor you may save or positively affect over 60 lives.  Some of those lives may be people you know and love.

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A Promise Broken — The Arizona 98 Video


Today, January 6, 2011 we learned of the death of another of the Arizona 98 — now there are 96.  Out of respect for their memory we will continue to call our organization “Save the Arizona 98.” 

Early this morning I finished production on a six minute slide show called “A Promise Broken — Life Denied.  It tells the story of how the 98 found themselves without promised Medicaid coverage for the life saving transplants they so desperately need.

Also included in the slide show are the criteria for qualifying for an organ transplant and why these 98 needed Medicaid to help them because they had already used up all their resources to stay alive.

You’ll find another section “Arizona – 100% Fact Free”  which clearly shows how the claims made by Governor Jan Brewer have been distorted.

Finally you’ll find some suggestions on what you can do to help.  There really is no need for anyone else to die because of lack of  money.  

If you go to www.savethearizona98.com you’ll find some links on the left side of the page.  Click on “A Promise Broken” slide show and let it roll.  The slide will change automatically.  When you’ve finished vieweing it you are invited to tell others about it.  I did not copyright the show so no permission is needed for it to be used by others.  Also, we’d appreciate if you returned here to Bob’s NewHeart and wrote a comment about what you’ve seen.

Please visit and join my Facebook site, ORGAN Transplant Initiative http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=152655364765710  OR — my Facebook home Page http://www.facebook.com/?sk=messages&tid=10150094667020070#!/ . 

 The more members we get the greater our impact on increasing life saving organ donation

Please comment in the space provided or email your thoughts to me at bob@baronson.org.  And – please spread the word about the immediate need for more organ donors.  There is nothing you can do that is of greater importance.  If you convince one person to be a donor you may save or positively affect over 60 lives.  Some of those lives may be people you know and love.

Waiting for a Kidney — The Jay Robare Story


Jay Robare of Florida  designed the Save the Arizona 98 poster. Jay, is waiting for a kidney transplant. I offer these stories in order to get people to join the Save the Arizona 98 movement.  In case you missed it Arizona first promised then denied 98 of its pre-approved citizens that Medicaid would pay for their organ transplants.  These people will die without the procedure. 

“Save the Arizona 98” is a two fold program.  1) to work to reverse the decision to disallow Medicaid payment for transplants and 2) to raise money for the transplants in case the decision is not reversed.  If the decision is reversed the money raised can go to other transplant patients in need.  Please read my blogs about the issue and use the links provided below  to join our group. Here’s Jay’s story in his own words.

Jay Robare’s story
Waiting for a Kidney

By the time that I was approved for Medicare, I had gone through all my savings and my limited insurance coverage. I had to quit working because my endurance was gone and because I was not working, I could not afford my apartment anymore and I had to start living with others that helped me out. I lost all my furniture and most of my art equipment.

I finally got disability insurance and was qualified for Medicare but not Medicaid since I was making too much money from disability; I got enough to pay rent and had some money for paper products, which costs a lot. I have to dry my hands on paper towels to stay sterile.

I was blessed with $200 in food stamps last year but that has been decreased too; I am out of food by the third week of the month. I keep asking for rides to the various food banks but people are too busy. I am not the only one going through this; most people just can’t understand the magnitude of what we are going through in our lives and in our bodies. I know everyone is having problems for I hear that al the time but when I got sick and started working to get on the waiting list, all my doctors and nurses treated me like I was given a special gift which it is…the gift of life but many people would rather worry about their financial or relationship problem that they will outlive. We won’t outlive our problems, they are literary killing us.

I didn’t even talk about having to do dialysis every night. The type of dialysis that I do is called Peritoneal Dialysis where I store 2,500 milliliters of sugar saline solution for 2 and a half hour cycles 4 times which is all carbohydrates. I have gained 30 Lbs and I look very well fed; my fried Dirk said I looked like I had a beer belly…my last beer was a Heineken last Christmas. One nice thing about PD instead of hemo dialysis is that I have no liquid restraints. On hemo, I could only have 60 Oz a day or I would risk cramping and THAT was a bitch. Cramps formed in muscles that I thought I never had and the pain was so bad it made me yell out for Jesus…made my tech laugh at me.

Speaking of techs, I had clowns that would not listen to me and do the treatment their own way ending up hurting me. For you on Hemo, THIS IS YOUR TREATMENT AND YOUR BODY, don’t take any crap from these people; make sure that your nurse knows and the director knows that you do not want this person touching you again. Another thing that I like about PD is that it is robbing my body of potassium and this lets me eat things that hemo would never let me eat like bananas, mashed potatoes, spinach, hummus, vegetables and fruits. I do have to take something called a binder every time that I eat something. This medicine absorbs all the phosphorus in the food. The binder can be nasty at times, it is very dry and tastes like I am eating chalk. The chalk does a good job but sometimes it is difficult to take. The meds are a chewable but I think they are coming out with a powder soon.

Another med that I have to take because of PD and a bad parathyroid, caused by ESKD is a drug called Zemplar and Sensipar. Both keep my calcium land my PTH levels down. The only problem is that Sensipar has made me nauseous for the last 4 years; I have been throwing up every time I took this drug for 7-8 months. I guess my body has had enough. The doctors, dietitians and I have been playing games for years. I have finally decided to have a perthyroidectomy. After this surgery, I will need to start taking calcium supplements, including eating more pizza and lasagna…LOL I

I get extremely tired sometimes during the day from either walking to the bus stop and going to Publix to get some noodles or walking from the bus stop to my Davita dialysis clinic to get labs done every Monday or Tuesday; I need to send a vile of blood to my transplant hospital every week so they can keep an aye on my health and changes in my DNA.

Last month I had weird liver numbers and they ordered a full set of tests including a liver biopsy which scared me. My local doctors were thinking that I had a liver disease which stored too much copper in my system; they called it Wilson’s disease. Before I got the biopsy, I thought that I was going to have to get a liver transplant as well as a new kidney…I was a wreck! The day of the biopsy came and I wanted to get knocked out but before I knew it, I herd a clink and it was done. I worried for a week but the results came back and I was clean, no Wilson’s disease. Within a week Ann, my transplant coordinator took me off hold and I was back on the waiting list.

I met Bob Aronson about 3 months ago on Facebook. I used to read all his stuff and I, being a troublemaker, would contradict the man. I soon learned that the guy not only knew his stuff but he was a good writer too, we buried the axe and became friends.

This thing with the Arizona 98 has got me drawing again; I used to be so bummed out about not having a life, I gave up drawing but thanks to Betsy, one of my very good friends and Bob, I am drawing caricatures and designing flyers again.

Life is tough sometimes but with my friends, my faith in God and His son Jesus and now that I am drawing again, I can think I can make it through the storm until I get my kidney. I hope this has helped someone.

Don’t forget the Arizona 98 campaign.  there is more information on this blogsite and you can offer futher support by visiting www.savethearizona98.com.  You can also visit and join my Facebook site, ORGAN Transplant Initiative http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=152655364765710  OR — my Facebook home Page http://www.facebook.com/?sk=messages&tid=10150094667020070#!/ . 

 The more members we get the greater our impact on increasing life saving organ donation

Please comment in the space provided or email your thoughts to me at bob@baronson.org.  And – please spread the word about the immediate need for more organ donors.  There is nothing you can do that is of greater importance.  If you convince one person to be a donor you may save or positively affect over 60 lives.  Some of those lives may be people you know and love.

The Arizona 98 — The Full Story


Since October I’ve been leading a national Facebook campaign to save the lives of the 98 Arizonans who were promised, then denied Medicaid coverage for organ transplants by the legislature and governor Jan Brewer. They are only on Medicaid because their conditions have made them too sick to work and too weak to raise the money needed to save their lives. They are powerless, helpless people for whom the Governor has absolutely no compassion. She has not offered any words of sympathy, any support in helping to raise money or even to meet with them. She simply says, “We don’t have the money” and blames so-called Obamacare for the Arizona mess. But, the fact is that the Arizona legislature passed and she signed the bill BEFORE the Obama bill even passed congress.

That isn’t the only mischaracterization the Governor has made. She has received over $1 billion in federal stimulus funds, $30 million of which is discretionary; she can use it any way she wants to. She says all the money is spoken for, but she refuses to tell anyone what she will spend it on, she won’t even talk to the media. Strangely she found $2 million to study algae and another nearly $2 million to repair a roof. Voters even approved nearly $100 million for a spring training facility for the Chicago Cubs. By cutting the Medicaid funds that would have paid for these people’s transplants the state will save between $1.4 and $4.5 million out of a nearly $9 billion budget.

Governor Brewer has fudged on other issues as well. She says transplants don’t work, that they are optional. Well, I can testify that they work and so can thousands of other people. As to it being optional the only option for someone who needs a transplant is death. You cannot be certified to be listed for a transplant unless a physician who specializes in your particular illness convinces a hospital transplant committee that you will die unless you get a transplant. Brewer also says the state still covers liver transplants but that, too, is not true. They Don’t. One of the 98, Francisco Felix, was on the operating table being prepped for a liver transplant donated by a relative when the order came that the state wouldn’t pay for it. He was awakened, sent home and his relative’s liver was given to someone else. Can you think of anything more cruel?

Several well known, highly respected transplant experts have contacted the governor telling her that the information she used to make the decision was outdated, erroneous and incomplete but she has refused to acknowledge them and continues to use the same wrong information as she did just recently on Fox news with Greta Van Susterin.

The Arizona Legislature meets on January 10 to reconsider the action and while Republicans have an overwhelming majority some GOP leaders have suggested that perhaps they were wrong and should reverse their previous decision, so there is a good chance of reversal even though the Governor refuses to change her mind. That means that we must put pressure on the legislature to pass a veto-proof bill that will return the transplant coverage to the Arizona 98. All we are asking for is that the state honor its promise.

I would ask you to do these things.

1) Write to the Arizona Senate Majority leader and the Speaker of the House urging them to restore Medicaid transplant coverage (I have no names for these people because they will be selected when the session begins).

2) Get on Governor Brewer’s Facebook page and using logic and diplomacy, urge her to change her mind.

3) Join my Facebook group, Organ Transplant Initiative (OTI) http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=152655364765710 The more members we have the more clout we’ll have with elected officials and other decision makers, so far we have nearly 800 members.

4) Spread the word. Tell everyone you know about the tragedy unfolding in Arizona and ask them to take action by contacting elected officials but also by telling their friends through the use of social networks, blogs, email and whatever else they can think of. .

5) If the legislature doesn’t change its mind the 98 will still need transplants so I have started a fund drive, “Save the Arizona 98” through the highly respected National Transplant Assistance Fund (NTAF). If you go to www.savethearizona98.com you will find a link where you can purchase T-shirts and other products with the Save the Arizona 98 graphic on them. ALL profits will go to the NTAF and there are no administrative fees or expenses charged for our service. The Link also offers an opportunity to donate directly to NTAF and designate exactly who you want to help. When you enter the site you will see a large “Save The Arizona 98” sign. You have permission to download, distribute and use it in any way that will help save these lives.

Please help in this effort. Right now Arizona is the only state in the union that has denied organ transplants for Medicaid patients but other states aren’t far behind. We must send them a message that Americans won’t stand for letting our neighbors die.

If you believe in keeping promises, helping the sick, equal treatment under the law and preserving life, this cause is just right for you.

The only obligation any government has is to protect its people. It is in the U.S. Declaration of Independence and in the Preamble to the constitution. Will you help?

Thank you from the bottom of my donor’s heart.

Bob Aronson

Please comment in the space provided or email your thoughts to me at bob@baronson.org.  And – please spread the word about the immediate need for more organ donors.  There is nothing you can do that is of greater importance.  If you convince one person to be a donor you may save or positively affect over 60 lives.  Some of those lives may be people you know and love.

Also…visit and join my Facebook site, ORGAN Transplant Initiative http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=152655364765710  OR — my Facebook home Page http://www.facebook.com/?sk=messages&tid=10150094667020070#!/ . 

 The more members we get the greater our impact on increasing life saving organ donation

Arizona –The Rich Get Richer, The Poor Get Poorer and the Sick Get Dead.


 NEWS RELEASE   December 14, 2010

For more information contact Bob Aronson bob@baronson.org

In early October, 2010 Bob Aronson, heart transplant recipient and founder of Organ Transplant Initiative (OTI), started a nationwide drive to reverse the Arizona decision that denies Medicaid patients vital organ transplants.  http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=152655364765710   He also has a very popular blog site devoted to donation/transplant issues with recent posts aimed at the Arizona issue https://bobsnewheart.wordpress.com.

 “Everyone on the transplant list is dying,” says Aronson, “And Governor Brewer’s claim that transplants are an optional treatment is totally without foundation.  The only option to a transplant is death. I know, I would have been dead three years ago if I had not received a new heart.” 

Aronson a former Minnesota Governor’s Press Secretary and now living in Jacksonville, Florida says, “I understand how serious budget problems can be, but you don’t solve them by killing your citizens.”  

Organ Transplant Initiative has rallied people from all over the country with their “Save the Arizona 98” campaign.  Additionally the group has a website www.savethearizona98.com where people or organizations can buy T-shirts and other products bearing the slogan, “Save the Arizona 98.”  All profits go to the National Transplant Assistance Fund and there are no administrative fees or expenses charged to the proceeds.  The site also offers the option of donating directly to the fund and designating the specific person or persons you want to help.

“Governor Brewer blames so-called Obamacare for the Medicaid problems,” states Aronson, “But Arizona approved cutting transplants before the Obama bill passed congress.”  He notes that, “While Americans have a guarantee of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, Arizona has opted to deny life and liberty in favor of the Pursuit of Mexicans, because,” he says, “The Governor has diverted millions of Federal stimulus and other dollars, to her border protection program.  Those dollars could have been used to save and enhance lives.  They weren’t.

Permission is granted to copy and use this release in any appropriate manner to help save the Arizona 98. 

From Bob Aronson

If you would like to donate money to help these Arizona patients pay for their transplants, should organs become available, you can do so through the National Transplant Assistance Fund (NTAF).  You can either call 1-800-642-8399 or make your donation on-line at http://www.ntafund.org/contribute/  

Please comment in the space provided or email your thoughts to me at bob@baronson.org.  And – please spread the word about the immediate need for more organ donors.  There is nothing you can do that is of greater importance.  If you convince one person to be a donor you may save or positively affect over 60 lives.  Some of those lives may be people you know and love.

Also…visit and join my Facebook site, ORGAN Transplant Initiative http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=152655364765710  OR — my Facebook home Page http://www.facebook.com/?sk=messages&tid=10150094667020070#!/ . 

 The more members we get the greater our impact on increasing life saving organ donation

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