“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...]

“Private” Option Play-Doh & Hospital Hoopla (Podcast)

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This week on the show: KATV's (awful) "Play-doh" analogy Broken promises of the "private" option Medicaid cuts delayed Employer mandate delayed Someone predicted the employer mandate would be delayed How bad will Medicaid expansion be for hospitals? What on earth is Nate Bell thinking? … [Read more...]

What On Earth Is Nate Bell Thinking?

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Many observers of the “private” option’s passage through the legislative process were taken aback by Rep. Nate Bell’s amendment earlier this week. Bell has explained that his goal is to end the “private” option, and he believes that his amendment (which appears to make House “private”-option passage more likely) is the best route to achieve this goal. I found this puzzling, so I called him up for a further explanation. Following are my paraphrased questions and his italicized answers; I also … [Read more...]

Breaking Down The 2013 Freedom Scorecard (Podcast)

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This week on the podcast, Dan gives us a quick Obamacare update and then we launch into a full rundown of the 2013 Arkansas Freedom Scorecard. Here are some articles we discuss: White House in Obamacare panic HHS encourages insurers to fix Obamacare problems 2013 Friends of Freedom in the AR legislature … [Read more...]

Arkansas Legislators Participate In Article V Convention Summit

Pictured: The backs of Rep. Bell's, Rep. Ballinger's, and Rep. Alexander's heads at the Mt. Vernon assembly. (Photo compliments of Rep. Bill Taylor of South Carolina)

Legislators from all over the country convened just outside of Washington D.C. over the weekend to discuss the possibility of an Article V amendment convention. An Article V convention -- which is very different than a “constitutional convention” -- would allow states to propose amendments to the federal constitution. Four Arkansas legislators attended the weekend forum that was held at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home. I spoke with two of them. State Representative Bob Ballinger was at … [Read more...]

Are Little Rock City Employees Violating Act 312?

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There were a handful of “good government” reforms that were passed in this year’s legislative session. One of those bills was Act 312, sponsored by Rep. Nate Bell (R-Mena). The goal of Act 312 is simple -- to prohibit government employees from using taxpayer-funded resources to influence the outcome of ballot measure elections. Violating this act amounts to a Class A misdemeanor; furthermore, whoever violates it will both lose his or her job and be barred from future Arkansas public … [Read more...]

Dustin McDaniel vs. FOIA: Regrettably, FOIA Loses

Dustin McDaniel, doing his best to block a FOIA request.

My children will be adolescents in a few years; occasionally, when I recall the way I behaved towards my parents as a teenager, I react less in happy anticipation than in horror. Too often as a teenager, in an attempt to get my way, I said things to my parents that no serious person would ever say. For instance, I remember attempting to justify a report card that detailed my sub-par academic performance by explaining to my folks: “Look, grades don’t mean anything.” I guess it’s forgivable when … [Read more...]

Richard Womack: No Pie for Me!

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There’s been a lot of gossip swirling around the vote to expand Medicaid in Arkansas. For example, how did proponents of expansion pick up 8 votes from Monday (when the bill first failed) to Tuesday when it passed? There’s been a lot of talk about bribery or extortion -- Rep. Nate Bell even went to the House floor and spoke of “threats” that had been leveled against House members. Rep. Bruce Westerman, in a fiery speech, asked members if their votes were worth “30 pieces of silver?” Leaders in … [Read more...]