New Hospital Report: “Politics, Posturing, Or What?”

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Last week, a few CEOs from Arkansas hospitals testified before a state legislative subcommittee about the Obamacare “private” option. They explained that the PO has been a raving success -- because, according to them, three months of data show that the number of uninsured visits to their hospitals has dropped since the program began in January. It was a nice effort to grab some good headlines (lord knows they needed some). But I think there’s plenty of reason to be skeptical of this data, and … [Read more...]

Election Coverage, Tonight On Twitter

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The big day is finally here: it’s primary day in Arkansas. If you haven’t voted yet, you definitely should. All the cool kids are doing it. And besides, there are an unprecedented number of Republican primaries happening around the state: there are four state Senate primaries and multiple House primaries. Statewide, primaries are underway for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, auditor, and treasurer. There’s also a Republican primary in the Second and Fourth Congressional … [Read more...]

Political Group Lashes Out At Candidate Scott Flippo

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An Arkansas political action committee has launched an attack ad against Senate District 17 candidate Scott Flippo, claiming that Flippo wants to “raise sales taxes” if he’s elected to the legislature. The Flippo camp responds by saying these attacks are distorted and unfair. The group, “Conservative” Arkansas, launched the radio ad this week in the district. They have openly supported and endorsed Flippo’s opponent, Rep. John Burris, in this three-way GOP primary. According to the spot … [Read more...]

Northwest Arkansas House Primaries Will Impact Arkansas-Obamacare’s Future

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Many people are watching the four Republican state Senate primaries across Arkansas. And private-option obsessives like me have reason to: the outcome of these races will have a tremendous impact on the future of the Obamacare “private” option program. But the other half of the legislature is just as important: the funding for the PO barely cleared the House, both in last year’s session and in this year’s fiscal session. The future of the program could very well be decided in a few northwest … [Read more...]

MIA: Senator King’s “Patently False” Statement

Senator David Sanders.

Senator Bryan King has been an outspoken opponent of the Obamacare “private” option in the legislature. But while Arkansas’s state lawmaking body is out of session, King is taking his message to other states, warning them about the enormous costs and inflexibility of the program. Last week, King penned a letter to Utah lawmakers, urging them to resist the the lure of the Medicaid carrot that’s being waved by the Obama administration. You can read the full letter here, but here’s one of the … [Read more...]

The Emerging Battle Between Taxpayer Advocates & “Private” Option Boosters

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Yesterday at the Capitol, several lawmakers hosted a press conference to raise awareness about the cost overruns in the Obamacare “private” option program. According to recent reports, the program is currently nearly 15% more expensive than the original cost projections. If costs do not come down dramatically, state taxpayers could end up on the hook for millions of dollars -- for a program that was supposed to be “free” to the state for the first several years. Senator Bryan King and Rep. … [Read more...]

Nine Problems With Senator Holland’s Latest Mailer

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Senator Bruce Holland recently sent out a campaign mailer, defending his support of the Arkansas Obamacare “private” option. Here’s a look: Unfortunately, almost every claim in this mailer is so flimsy that it begs to be refuted. Here’s where Holland gets it wrong: 1. Obamacare “forces the expansion of a broken system.” This is wrong. In its ruling on Obamacare, the Supreme Court gave each state an opportunity to reject Medicaid expansion. Every other state in the South took that … [Read more...]

Arkansas: The Twilight Zone Of Health Care Policy

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Last week, Family Council released their survey of primary candidates for state and federal offices. Family Council has set the bar for candidate surveys over the last several years. Once again, they released a quality product that covers a wide range of issues facing our state. As I read through the survey, I saw that that candidates for Lieutenant Governor were asked to respond to this statement by expressing their support or opposition: Medicaid Expansion: The Arkansas Private Option law … [Read more...]