The Competition Vacuum in the “Private” Option

competition map

You might recall that one of the selling points of the “private” option was market competition. Competition among insurance carriers was going to lower prices and improve the quality of services. Indeed, the actuaries who estimated the costs of the “private” option relied on the low prices that competition would create. Our insurance commissioner even explained that the high number of carriers that were participating – four! – was triggered by the “private” option. In reality, market … [Read more...]

Is Matt Campbell Qualified To Blog?


As we’ve noted before, sometimes Matt Campbell posts insightful legal analysis containing persuasive legal arguments. And sometimes he completely misses the mark by making arguments that would get an attorney laughed out of court. The difficulty is that he doesn’t seem to be able to tell when he’s making strong arguments or weak ones. Recently, Campbell posted about a recent public statement from Judge Rhonda Wood. (As is their habit, the Arkansas Times uncritically and robotically … [Read more...]

Bowen Faculty: LEAP Over The Constitution


You might recall that Bowen Law School Dean Michael Schwartz told us that the law school’s affirmative action plan, LEAP, was “just this side of Supreme Court decisions.” But we’ve recently discovered that even that declaration of borderline legality is an overstatement, according to some of Bowen’s administrators and faculty members. As we’ve noted before, the Constitution prohibits certain kinds of government-run, race-conscious admissions programs. In the context of LEAP, the Constitution’s … [Read more...]

Senator Dismang Is Open to Letting the Sun Shine In


Sen. Jonathan Dismang made a promising announcement when Roby Brock interviewed him earlier this week: Dismang said that he’s open-minded about broadcasting/live-streaming state Senate procedures. Dismang’s statement creates a welcome contrast with other members of the Senate leadership, who have been pointedly dismissive about shining a light onto Senate deliberations. I think it’s something we’ll discuss, but it’s something we’ll discuss as a whole. It would not be my decision solely to … [Read more...]

AAI Sponsors the Battle at Bowen


The Advance Arkansas Institute is pleased to announce a forthcoming debate between the three GOP candidates for attorney general. (Well, it’s kind of a debate, anyway; the moderator will pose multiple questions to each candidate.) The GOP AG debate will be held in the Bowen Law School’s courtroom on Wednesday, April 9, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Dan Greenberg, AAI president, will moderate the debate. He is currently compiling the questions that the candidates will be asked. If you have questions … [Read more...]

The Collapse of the Risperdal Verdict


You might remember that, earlier this month, state Senator Johnny Key passed a law that would dedicate damage-verdict money to the private-option trust fund. I thought then, and think now, that Key’s action was an eloquent admission of future private-option costs: the $1.2 billion that Key wanted to put in the private-option trust fund was evidence that at least some lawmakers had silently accepted our arguments that the private option won't actually save us money – instead, it will cost us … [Read more...]

Judge McGowan Benchslaps Act 1413


One of the most offensive bills that the Arkansas General Assembly passed last session was SB 821/Act 1413. This bill, which we warned the legislature about, almost seemed designed to make it more difficult for citizens to pass laws by means of ballot initiatives. Act 1413 created a new set of regulations that controlled the registration, tracking, and training of those who gathered signatures for petitions. Earlier this week, we were very pleased to see Judge McGowan’s decision to the effect … [Read more...]

“Colonel Conrad Reynolds” Just Filed For Congress


Just a few minutes ago, Conrad Reynolds filed to run for Congress. I guess it would be more precise to say: Colonel Conrad Reynolds filed to run for Congress. Apparently, he has officially changed his name to "Colonel Conrad Reynolds," and that name will appear on Republican ballots in the Second Congressional District. Why? Presumably because voters are more likely to vote for candidates with titles. I imagine that's why his opponent, Rep. Ann Clemmer, specified her legislative affiliation … [Read more...]