Legislature Considers Repealing State Exchange

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We reported yesterday that Arkansas was “moving towards” setting up a state Obamacare exchange. However, based on multiple committee meetings I attended this week, some legislators are still rightfully skeptical of setting up a state exchange -- especially because this option has failed so many times in other states. State Rep. Mary Bentley passed a proposal out of a Joint Insurance and Commerce meeting today to study the idea of repealing the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace (AR’s … [Read more...]

Gov’s Office: Arkansas “Moving Towards” State Exchange, But Nothing Final Yet

Arkansas capitol

Arkansas is in the process of establishing a state exchange, but a final decision won’t be made until after the Health Care Reform Legislative Task Force makes its recommendations, a spokesman for Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday. J.R. Davis, Hutchinson’s spokesman, told The Arkansas Project: There’s no deadline set or time that says…we’re going to be a state exchange on this date or that we’re even going to be one. Basically, through legislation passed by the Legislature in 2013 and 2015 … [Read more...]

Will Arkansas Establish A State O’Care Exchange?

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It seems clear to me after attending today’s Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace committee meeting that pro-Obamacare legislators and bureaucrats are eager for Arkansas to proceed with establishing a state Obamacare exchange. Legislators had delayed this decision until after King v. Burwell was announced -- which occurred Friday. One of the few legislators who expressed any skepticism about setting up a state exchange was state Rep. Deborah Ferguson. Ferguson asked Cheryl Smith … [Read more...]

Scalia: “We Should Start Calling This Law SCOTUScare.”

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One hour ago, the Supreme Court of the United States held, in a 6-3 ruling, that Obamacare subsidies flowing through federal exchanges are legal. The three dissenters in King v. Burwell were Justices Alito, Scalia, and Thomas. Here is the ruling. From Scalia’s dissent: We should start calling this law SCOTUScare. Perhaps the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will attain the enduring status of the Social Security Act or the Taft-Hartley Act; perhaps not. But this Court’s two … [Read more...]

New AAI Paper: Supreme Court Decision Could Add Thousands of Jobs, Millions of Dollars to Arkansas Economy

King v. Burwell

By the end of this month, our nation’s highest court will announce its opinion in King v. Burwell. This decision has huge implications for the future of Obamacare. The Supreme Court might find that the Obama Administration acted illegally in offering health insurance subsidies through its federal exchanges. One consequence of such a decision is that, if Arkansas reacts to it by establishing a state Obamacare exchange, this would amount to a huge new Obamacare tax increase on … [Read more...]

Arkansas DHS: Only 40 Percent of Private Option Enrollees “Clearly Eligible”

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We reported last week that the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) would finally start checking Obamacare “private option” enrollees’ eligibility this week. DHS succeeded in checking the eligibility of about 5,600 enrollees so far; unfortunately, the results from the first few days of eligibility testing of Medicaid haven’t been promising. John Selig, Arkansas DHS Director, told legislators at a Joint Performance Review meeting yesterday: About 40 percent of them were clearly … [Read more...]

What Do Obamacare Federal Exchange Enrollees Want After King v. Burwell?

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As early as tomorrow (and definitely sometime this month), the Supreme Court may rule on King v. Burwell. The case challenges an IRS regulation “which violates the plain language of the law enacted by Congress, which gave states the choice to either set up such exchanges themselves or stay out of the program.” With this pending ruling in mind, the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) has produced a fascinating poll. What do federal Obamacare enrollees think lawmakers at the state … [Read more...]

Legislators Send Letter To Congress Opposing State Exchange

stop obamacare

The pending Supreme Court case of King v. Burwell is about to force a technical legal question to the center stage of Arkansas politics: should Arkansas try to set up an Obamacare state exchange? Last week, 14 conservative Arkansas legislators wrote Congress opposing the establishment of a state exchange. Their letter said: The United States Supreme Court will soon issue its ruling in the King v. Burwell case challenging the legality of an Internal Revenue Service rule that distributes … [Read more...]