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“If Republicans are for this plan (Medicaid expansion via the private option), I don’t know what exactly they were against before,” says Republican Tony Keck.

“It covers the same number of people, with the same benefits and is more expensive.   I have a hard time understanding what it is that some of these Republican legislators like about that.”

Keck, who runs South Carolina’s Medicaid program, is a contrarian when it comes to what seems to be the party’s stance these days on the mandated government healthcare expansion.

Arkansas GOP lawmakers and others who campaigned against Obamacare now find themselves trying to remake the program into some kind of state-federal government partnership via the “private option.”

Grassroots voters who supported those lawmakers are not impressed.   Neither are many states, who just days ago seemed excited about Arkansas’ “new approach” to mandated Medicaid expansion — and are now taking a second look after the Obama administration released another ‘letter’ to Arkansas containing little or no firm federal assurances for the plan.

Even Avik Roy, the Forbes writer who supported the plan, succinctly described fundamental flaws in his piece last week.

This week Roy, while correcting some of his earlier assertions, remains highly skeptical that private option is good for Arkansas.

Will our state Republican lawmakers hear their voters?   IF they pass it, will private option give them the cover they’ll need in the next elections?