Three Cheers — For More Government Dependency?

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Earlier this week, the state’s Department of Human Services released the latest enrollment numbers in the Medicaid “private” option expansion. So far, enrollments are way above forecasts: according to DHS, PO enrollment has now reached 155,567. Many supporters of the “private” option no doubt see this surge in enrollment as a good thing. After all, “It’s not costing Arkansas a dime!” For example, I was stunned to see this headline from THV yesterday: “Statewide enrollment numbers shows private … [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...]

The Ar-Kansas Project Podcast

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This week on The Arkansas Project Podcast: Breaking down Wednesday's AG debate (full video of the debate here) Forbes article outlines "private" option cost overruns Monty Python's Argument Clinic The "private" option competition that doesn't exist Sebelius Greatest Hits, via WSJ … [Read more...]

The Competition Vacuum in the “Private” Option

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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...]

“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...]

Another Justification For The Obamacare “Private” Option Bites The Dust

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Late last Monday evening, March 31, Congress approved a proposal to delay cuts to reimbursements for doctors who provide Medicare services. But that’s not all: the bill also pushed forward cuts to hospitals even farther into the future. These payments, commonly referred to as “disproportionate share hospital” payments or DSH, are given to hospitals to help pay for their uncompensated care costs related to the treatment of Medicaid patients. This development is significant because, as you may … [Read more...]

Holland And Rice Spar Over Legislative Records

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I wrote a few weeks ago about the Republican state Senate primary in District 9. Unlike other primaries this year, it’s the only race that features two incumbent legislators facing off against each other. Therefore, both candidates have voting records for voters -- and their opponent -- to examine and scrutinize. Personally, I think this is awesome: it gives us all a chance to measure the candidates not only by what they say they will do, but by what they have actually done. This dynamic lends … [Read more...]

Ingram Eviscerates Jackson Hewitt’s Spinning On Medicaid Expansion Savings

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A few weeks ago, as the debate over re-funding the Obamacare “private” option was heating up, the tax prep firm Jackson Hewitt released a “study” that allegedly proved that expanding entitlements in Arkansas would save businesses money! If that sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. I wrote briefly about some of the flaws of this report last month. Now, Jonathan Ingram of the Foundation for Government Accountability has released a new paper that more thoroughly debunks many of the … [Read more...]