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The Republican legislature in Arkansas insisted that the only way they would allow Medicaid expansion was to privatize it, to make sure that new recipients of the benefits had to pay in and had to have "skin in the game." So Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe got a waiver from the Obama administration and got privatized Medicaid. As I reported a week ago, now Republicans have decided that maybe Arkansas's 85,000 people who gained coverage just aren't deserving enough, or something, and are considering taking it away.

Here's one of those Republicans.

State Representative Nate Bell, a Republican who voted against the private option last year, said that while he would ideally like the program to “go away,” he might be inclined to support refunding it if some changes were made.

“We’re going to have to look at them having more skin in the game,” he said of the private option enrollees.

Here's one of the people he thinks just doesn't have enough skin in the game.
For Amber Chote of Little Rock, who said she works three jobs to pay her rent and bills, getting insurance through the program has meant no longer having to go to the emergency room when she gets sick. Ms. Chote, 23, said she hoped that state lawmakers who remain opposed to the program would give it a chance to prove its worth.

“Personally I feel like it’s talking to children that are mad after losing a baseball game,” she said of the effort to persuade some Republican lawmakers to allow the program to survive. “I hope they will let it keep going.”

Obviously, three jobs isn't enough for one person to hold to be deserving of just a little bit of fucking help to buy health insurance. Not as far as Republicans are concerned.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 02:47 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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