Feel That Breeze? It’s Senator Sample Spinning On The ‘Private’ Option

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Senator Bill Sample has found himself in a heated primary contest with challenger Jerry Neal. Sample’s support of the Obamacare “private” option has become central to the campaign debate. Neal says he is against it; Sample has voted for it repeatedly and still believes it’s the best path for Arkansas’s health care system. Recently, both candidates spoke before the Garland Good Government Group. During the Q&A period, Sample was asked about his support for the PO. After all, the questioner … [Read more...]

New ‘Private’ Option Revelations Spark Controversy

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This morning, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette revealed that the costs for the Obamacare “private” option for April have increased once again. Last week, Forbes reported that the total cost for the premiums for the month of March was $485.77 per person. This represents an 11% cost increase over the original projections. However, this figure included only the monthly premium costs, omitting costs for “wrap-around” services that are not covered by enrollees’ insurance plans. For the month of April, … [Read more...]

No Competition, Cost Overruns — Where Do We Go From Here On The ‘Private’ Option?

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You’ll probably find this hard to believe, but things aren’t going to so well with the Obamacare “private” option: just last week, my colleague Dan Greenberg wrote about the lack of competition in the program. Forbes had a national piece last week about the cost overruns of the program -- so far, after just a few short months, it’s currently 11% over original projections. In response to these developments, many lawmakers have been proactive in trying to figure out what’s driving the cost … [Read more...]

New Report Highlights Candidates’ Positions On Policy

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I know many of you have been relying on The Arkansas Project for news and analysis of the ongoing GOP legislative primaries around the state. While I’ve been conducting interviews with candidates, my colleague Dan Greenberg over at AAI has been helping to compile a comprehensive report that highlights where candidates stand on many more policy issues. (Well, at least it highlights where candidates are willing to say they stand.) This survey was conducted by Commerce In Action. They sent a … [Read more...]

Happy (Belated) Tax Freedom Day, Arkansas: You Now Have Permission To Keep Your Money

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Today is April 15th, the day that federal tax filings are due. (We hope this doesn’t come as a surprise to any of you.) So this seems like the perfect time to talk about how awful taxes are in America! While today is (unfortunately) Tax Day, I want to be sure you know also know the good news about Tax Freedom Day. This is the day of the year that the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay its total tax bill for year. A good way to think about this is that, up until Tax Freedom Day, … [Read more...]

Damon Wallace’s Degree Problem

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I’ve written in some detail about Damon Wallace’s financial troubles. Not only does this candidate for House District 96 have thousands in IRS debts, but he also failed to disclose some of the debts he owed to local governments in northwest Arkansas. (The worst-case scenario under Arkansas law is that this kind of error in disclosure could lead to fines and jail time.) Stunningly, Wallace explained some of his financial problems to Larry Henry of 5News by saying “I wasn’t trying to hide it. … [Read more...]

GOP Senate Primaries, Round 4: Burris vs. Flippo vs. Osmon

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As part of our continuing series of articles on the various GOP primaries across the state, we now turn our attention to state Senate District 17. After state Senator Johnny Key announced he would not seek re-election so that he could pursue a better paying career with the University of Arkansas, three candidates filed to replace him: Representative John Burris, business owner Scott Flippo, and Mountain Home Mayor Dave Osmon, all Republicans. Unlike my previous GOP Senate primary articles, I … [Read more...]

“There Is A Lot Wrong” With This Forbes Article, But Legislators Are Too Busy To Explain

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Yesterday, Forbes published an insightful piece about the Arkansas Obamacare “private” option. The bottom line for Arkansas taxpayers: for the second month in a row, the “private” option costs are well above projections and above the federal cap. The Forbes article (authored by Josh Archambault and Jonathan Ingram of the Foundation for Government Accountability) outlines what could happen if “private” option costs continue to climb: ...under terms of the waiver signed by Governor Beebe and … [Read more...]