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 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...]

Medicaid Expansion Medley (Podcast)

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This week on The Arkansas Project Podcast: House passes Obamacare "private" option funding Rep. Hammer explains his "private" option vote Rep. Farrer reports the PO is already over spending caps Sen. Rapert says Obama is terrified of PO Rep. Mayberry compares to PO to "jumping out of a burning building" Hillary loves the PO! Sen. Key moves funding from traditional Medicaid to PO fund … [Read more...]

FGA: State Taxpayers ‘On The Hook’ For Millions In ‘Private’ Option Cost Overruns

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Our guest article yesterday from Rep. Joe Farrer revealed the unanticipated costs to Arkansas taxpayers of the Obamacare-Medicaid “private” option. In short, the program is already pricier than promised -- and, despite promises that it would cost state taxpayers “nothing” in the first three years, the impact looks like it’s about to blow a hole in the state budget. Jonathan Ingram of the Foundation for Government Accountability has released a new paper that outlines the budgetary problems … [Read more...]

Rep. Farrer: “Private” Option Costs Already Exceeding Federal Caps

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The following is a guest article from State Representative Joe Farrer (R-Cabot): When we passed the Private Option Medicaid expansion last year, we did so under the explicit promise that the state taxpayer would bear no costs of the Medicaid expansion for at least the first three years. But what was promised during the legislative debate and what was negotiated between the Beebe and Obama administrations are very different. The Obama administration capped federal Private Option funding with … [Read more...]

House on Greenberg, Greenberg on House!

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About a week ago, Representative Doug House sent a mass email to fifty of his House Republican colleagues, and then it found its way into my inbox. I think it’s a response to the paper that AAI published earlier this month called “The Cure Is Worse Than the Disease: Why the Private Option Will Hurt, Not Help, Arkansas’s Hospitals.”  In response to House's response, the Advance Arkansas Institute prepared this brief paper and distributed it to all House members yesterday. Rep. House’s … [Read more...]

Supporters Of Obamacare Hate Obamacare!

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One of the more ridiculous arguments that legislators have made in support of the Medicaid expansion “private” option (Republican legislators, in particular) is that the “private” option is a “conservative response to Obamacare.” Rep. Charlie Collins regularly makes these types of claims on his Twitter feed; Speaker Davy Carter famously said last year that “a vote for the private option is a vote against Obamacare.” The problem with these theories is that, well, Medicaid expansion is a central … [Read more...]

The Definition of Insanity

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Albert Einstein famously said that insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Today, for the fourth day in a row, the Arkansas House failed to approve funding for the Obamacare "private" option. At this point, you must begin to wonder how many times Speaker Davy Carter will continue to call votes --  on the exact same bill -- and continue to fail to reach the necessary 75 vote threshold. Or, to put it another way: how long will Speaker Carter try to … [Read more...]