Arkansas PoliticsObamacarePrivate Option

Three Stories You Need To Read Today

need to read.jpgHappy Monday. With another vote on Obamacare “private” option funding as scheduled for tomorrow in the Arkansas House, we’ve compiled a few stories that you need to read.
1. CFA’s David Ferguson, in a new memo, dismisses two false arguments that are floating around the capitol:

There is a notion going around that during a Fiscal Session an appropriation bill cannot include non-appropriation sections. A recent blog post even insinuated that special language concerning the Private Option might be challenged because the Fiscal Session is supposed to be about budgets only. The notion is clearly wrong.
There is another notion going around that special language in an appropriation bill is only good for one (1) year. A review of the discussion [in this memo] clearly shows this notion to also be wrong.

If you’re following the “private” option saga, you can’t miss this memo.
2. Here’s a great article by Cato Institute’s Nicole Kaeding on what the battle over the “private” option means for the larger fight against Obamacare’s crushing impact on the national debt. In short, Kaeding says:

If the legislature continues this refusal and reverses its decision to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, state and federal taxpayers will save billions of dollars, making the Little Rock legislative battle the most important spending fight in the country.

Kaeding also argues that stopping Medicaid expansion in Arkansas could “stop the wave of expansion” in other states. (She also published this policy paper for AFP last year on the dangers of the Obamacare “private” option.)
3. This piece by The American Spectator highlights the Arkansas U.S. Senate race, the impact of Senator John Cooper’s victory last month in Jonesboro, and the role that the Obamacare “private” option will play in 2014:

There is a specific local aspect to the Obamacare debate in Arkansas. Democrat governor Mike Beebe managed to push into law, with some Republican support last year, a Medicaid expansion plan called the “private option”…
But while “private option” has been touted by Democrats in other states as a policy innovation, it has flopped with Arkansas voters. Cotton has made political hay by calling it nothing more than Obamacare at the state level, and in a January state senate special election in the northeast part of the state, a traditionally Democrat district, went 57-43 for Republican John Cooper in a race almost solely decided on the “private option.”

In conclusion, columnist Scott McKay writes:

But whatever the outcome of the private option, Arkansas voters just see Obamacare. And they don’t like it.

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