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Arkansas governor Mike Beebe looks on during a Martin Luther King Jr. service in Little Rock, Arkansas in this January 15, 2013 Governor's office handout photo obtained by Reuters March 6, 2013.   Arkansas was set to enact the nation's most restrictive la
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, fighting to keep Medicaid expansion.
A minority of Republican legislators in Arkansas are carrying through with their promise to dump at least 85,000 people who just got coverage through the state's private-option Medicaid expansion. A handful of Republicans don't want the expansion, and are thwarting the will of the majority (sound familiar?).

The state very narrowly passed the expansion last year, but because it is a budget bill, it has to reach a 75 percent threshold. For the second day in a row, it failed and it seems like the minority is picking up steam.

The House voted 68-27 Wednesday to reauthorize funding for the "private option," falling seven votes shy of the 75 needed to continue the program. It's the second time the legislation has failed in the House, where the measure fell five votes shy on Tuesday with the same number of members voting against it.
There's significant pressure from both social welfare groups and from business to keep the expansion.
“This additional expense will have a chilling effect on the growth plans of Arkansas businesses,” said Randy Zook, president and CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas. “With nearly 100,000 Arkansans still unemployed, those companies do not need to deal with added costs.”
Republican House Speaker Davy Carter says he will keep putting the reauthorization up until it reaches the 75 percent threshold it needs to pass the House and move on to the Senate, which appears to be ready to pass it. "I would ask what the plan is for these small minority of members who want to hold everything up," said Carter.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 11:03 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (25+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 11:03:01 AM PST

  •  So instead of bringing us closer to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, ColoTim, Mokislab

    a public option, as many argued, the ACA has brought us a private option.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 11:09:36 AM PST

  •  What is effing wrong (3+ / 0-)

    With these people? Seriously!

  •  75 percent approval (6+ / 0-)

    required for budget bills? What kind of idiocy is that? How did it ever get approved? And why can't they change that ludicrous requirement, whereby 26 percent of a body can undermine a budget? Sheer stupidity for having such a requirement in place and for allowing it to remain in place.

  •  The party of "family values"... (0+ / 0-)
    This additional expense will have a chilling effect on the growth plans of Arkansas businesses,” said Randy Zook, president and CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas. “With nearly 100,000 Arkansans still unemployed, those companies do not need to deal with added costs.”
    So 85,000 people not having health insurance is more cost effective than a hypothetical 100,000 jobs which have not materialized despite years of trickle-down republican policy?

    It's a certainty some of those 85,000 people will die because republicans think business might catch a chill. Despite record profits on Wall Street.

    So dead peasants are simply "... additional expense."

    "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

    by CanisMaximus on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:23:11 PM PST

    •  You're reading it backwards (0+ / 0-)

      Zook is arguing for the expansion, because otherwise, the companies will have to pick up the health care cost.  From the article, above the quoted paragraph:

      Opposition to scuttling the private option status quo is not limited to advocacy groups, as business leaders have also warned against changing the private option.

      "Harass us, because we really do pay attention. Look at who's on the ballot, and vote for the candidate you agree with the most. The next time, you get better choices." - Barney Frank

      by anonevent on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:37:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  kinda shot from the hip... (0+ / 0-)

        ...on that one. You're right.

        "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

        by CanisMaximus on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 08:04:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, but the point I think was that they were (0+ / 0-)

          complaining about the business expense, not the fact that the 100,000 people are out of work. Even though they are supporting the expansion it is kind of a weird argument.

          The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

          by CTMET on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 05:06:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  FLorida House Members pay 8.43 a month (3+ / 0-)

    in health care...http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    the GOP is all about I got mine

    The Seminole Democrat
    Confronting the criminally insane who rule our state; as well as the apathy of the vast majority who let them.

    by SemDem on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:24:03 PM PST

  •  All is well in Arkansas (0+ / 0-)

    This is all going as planned.

    “He talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans.” James Carville

    by Mokislab on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:32:54 PM PST

  •  Glad to know it still helps have a D governor here (0+ / 0-)

    “The Republican party can’t be the party that thinks one of the biggest problems is that there’s too much love in the world.” - Alex Castellanos

    by lordpet8 on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:46:33 PM PST

  •  75% to pass a budget is ridiculous (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RightHeaded

    How do they accomplish anything in Arkansas with such a requirement.

  •  The ACA seems to have multiple problems not (0+ / 0-)

    the least of which is Medicaid. It is time to move to Medicare for all funded by progressive taxes, i.e. no payroll tax or direct payments. If our tax structure won't generate the money then increase the tax rates. Or, here's an idea: reduce the MIC budget.

    •  You do realize legislation is (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Davui, Egalitare, TomFromNJ

      passed through congress, which can barely keep the government open. I support single-payer also but I've never spent as much energy as some on the left pushing for it because it has ZERO chance of ever passing. We barely passed the ACA and couldn't even get a public option with probably the biggest majorities the Democrats will have for another 40-50 years.

      Many liberals forget there wasn't enough support for a universal healthcare system that's single-payer when LBJ & FDR were presidents and they had humongous majorities and presided over an America that had a much more progressive view on government run programs. FDR wanted to have a health insurance system along with Social Security but ditched the idea when he realized pushing that would've caused the AMA to lobby against the bill and torpedo SS as well as universal healthcare. LBJ realized that as well when he initially wanted Medicare for everybody but quickly found out a congress with huge Democratic majorities was still not close to supporting such a measure.

      So with all that experience, I just don't get why liberals think a single-payer solution is even worthy of attention in a tea party crazed congress where spending $5 on something worthwhile is treason.

      It's time for us to stop obsessing over single-payer and start fixing the ACA with stringent price controls, which is what countries like Germany, Switzerland, and Israel do with amazing success. Those countries have among the lowest expenditures on healthcare yet have a system like the ACA that consists of mandates and private insurance. The difference is the cost controls are much more stringent and they allow things like single rate setting, which basically mimics what a single-payer system does. So instead of reaching for the impossible task of instituting single-payer, we'should institute the cost control mechanisms in the ACA that would cause it to function like a single-payer system, all the while claiming its a system relying on the free market.

      •  First cost control step: ratchet up MLR (0+ / 0-)

        I generally agree with you, though I think we do get Single Payer by making Big Health Insurance less profitable in the out years.

        If we can say that MLR will be 82.5% on some date certain (say Jan 2019), then 85% (by Jan 2024), etc. we will see Wall Street seeking "greener pastures: the Street hates few things more than guaranteed shrinking profit margins.

        Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 01:35:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The 15% or 20% is not profit (0+ / 0-)

          It has to include profit but the rest are administration costs which are necessary.

          I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

          by samddobermann on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 03:19:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Medicaid benefits are much better (0+ / 0-)

      than Medicare benefits. more is covered and their are no copays.

      Medicaid iS the public option. It's 51 single payer systems.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 03:16:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Duck Dynasty (0+ / 0-)

    It was over this issue that the fellow who was elected to Congress from Louisiana with the support of the sons (Willie and Jase) of the racist homophobic Duck Dynasty father (Phil) differentiated himself from the Tea Party supported candidate.  Medicaid expansion in Louisiana, which he supported and the Tea Party candidate refused.

    I don't watch the show anymore, but I have always suspected that within the right wing spectrum of white Southern republicans, the sons lean what amounts to left in the South or right centrist everywhere else, while the father falls off into the well-fabricated memories of the racist wingnut South.  

    Clearly in Arkansas, while the vote is still 7 votes shy of the needed 75, a surprising 68 voted to keep Federally funded expansion to the benefit of 85,000 Arkansans.

    Business support of expansion and, frankly, of Obamacare, is finally beginning to emerge.  It's always been a favorable for them, they just have had a kneejerk response to oppose anything by Obama.  Getting healthcare to your workforce that you don't have to pay for, or pay for alone, in your bottom line is always going to be a business plus.  It's cost shifting to another entity while still enjoying the benefits afforded a healthier workforce.  It's the profits, stupid! This is ultimate Homer Simpson "Doh" moment coming to more small/smaller businesses (that/ employ the majority of American workers) near all of us.

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 05:18:42 AM PST

  •  a 75% threshhold? (0+ / 0-)

    Good grief, what ever happened to majority rule?

    You can't get 75% of the population to agree that the earth goes around the sun instead of vice versa. How are you going to get 75% on a complicated budget bill?

    Who set up an insane rule saying you need 75% of the legislature to CONTINUE the existing law, rather than 75% to repeal it?

  •  Plan? (0+ / 0-)

    "I would ask what the plan is for these small minority of members who want to hold everything up,"

    It's not a plan. It's an ideologue's demand for perfection, and the effect literally doesn't matter to them.

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