Truth in Obamacare Advertising?


Five years after enactment, the Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare) is still a controversial law. Under attack in Congress, in the courts, and in the statehouses, this legislation continues to divide America. As one might expect, the (solidly Republican) Arkansas Congressional delegation is strongly opposed to Obamacare’s implementation. While there are many legislative routes to undermine or repeal Obamacare, Rep. Steve Womack has introduced a bill that would simply educate the … [Read more...]

Can Jim Hendren Dismantle the Private Option?


Earlier today, state Sen. Jim Hendren passed a bill out of the state Senate's Public Health Committee that attempts to enact Governor Asa Hutchinson's future private-option plans. As you may recall, Governor Hutchinson gave a major speech last week on the future of the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion in Arkansas - also known as the private option. In his speech, he outlined a plan to continue funding the program for two more years while pursuing large-scale health care reforms. Sen. Hendren's … [Read more...]

Hutchinson’s Private Option Speech: A Second Opinion


A few hours ago, ace Arkansas Project reporter Caleb Taylor posted his opinion about Hutchinson's private option speech. Here's mine. Governor Hutchinson got dealt a bad hand when he was sworn into office -- as a practical and political matter, he owns and bears responsibility for a large part of the future of the private option. If Arkansas legislators respect the governor's wishes, the private option will end (assuming I understand the governor's speech correctly) as of December 31, 2016. … [Read more...]

Asa’s PO Speech: Our New Task Force Will Fix It!


Scanning some of the reactions from Republicans after Gov. Hutchinson’s UAMS address today, I’m worried I might need to get my hearing checked. Apparently, I didn’t hear the same speech they did. Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin said Hutchinson’s speech unveiled a “decision to end the private option.” State Sen. Cecile Bledsoe said after Hutchinson’s speech that “you could in a sense call this a wind down.” What Hutchinson actually said was a bit more equivocal: it had some resemblance to what we’ve … [Read more...]

The ObamaCare Mess Will Be Hard to Fix


The 114th Congress was just sworn in, and already the members of the Arkansas Congressional delegation are dealing with the messy realities of ObamaCare. Take the attempt to fix ObamaCare’s employer mandate. Current law forces businesses employing 50 or more full-time employees to provide health insurance or face a penalty. “Full time” is defined as working over 30 hours in a week. Critics of the law rightly point out that this 30-hour limit is a disincentive for employers to offer full-time … [Read more...]

Over 80,000 on “Private Option” Don’t Work


One of the many misleading talking points promoted by pro-”private option” advocates is that the program isn’t an entitlement -- and that it only benefits “working” Arkansans. From lobbying talking points from AARP: ...we need your help to preserve (the “private option”), so nearly 250,000 hard-working Arkansans can get affordable health insurance coverage—and thousands of Arkansans don't lose it. Tell your State Representative to vote YES on keeping the Private Option! Like a bad penny, it … [Read more...]

Freshman Legislator: Freshman Legislators Aren’t Stupid, But Are Ignorant

PO (Ignorant Freshmen)

The Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families road-show to save the “private option” (Medicaid expansion) got off to a less-than-stellar start yesterday. From NWAOnline: "If the private option doesn't pass again, it's going to kill Asa Hutchinson's budget," said Jana Della Rosa, a Republican who was elected last month to serve House District 90, in Benton County. "There's such a huge hole that suddenly appears. "I don't think there's really any interest in doing that," she said. "I … [Read more...]

Another PO Broken Promise: Medicaid Expansion Not A Job Creator

Medicaid Expansion (Job Creation)

One of the many dubious claims about the “private option” Medicaid expansion was that it would be a “job creator” for the health-care industry in Arkansas. Proponents of the plan seemed to reason that the “private option” Medicaid expansion would give more able-bodied, childless adults health insurance, which would increase revenue to hospitals and result in hospitals hiring people for more jobs. “Free” money is an amazing thing! Here's big-time Advance Arkansas Institute fan and Arkansas … [Read more...]