Feb 20, 2014
No Other Options?
All or Nothing
Private option proponents — both Democrats and Republicans — have said Arkansas must go with their Medicaid expansion plan “because no other alternatives have been laid on the table.” As Senator Jim Hendren said in today’s Senate proceedings, that is a myth (we call ’em LIES) and needs to be corrected. The first “alternative” that...
As Senator Jim Hendren said in today’s Senate proceedings, that is a myth (we call ’em LIES) and needs to be corrected.
The first “alternative” that opponents reluctantly accepted was that promise by Senators John Burris and Jonathan Dismang that they would absolutely not turn the Medicaid budget into an “all-or-nothing” political game. Said Burris,
I am not going to put any of you in a corner and say either we vote for expansion or we shut down Medicaid. That’s a very immature argument and it’s not one that I am going to make.
If 75 people don’t pass it, then we will do what we need to do to take it out and pass the appropriation to fund DHS as it exists today.
Second was the failed attempt by Rep. Nate Bell to extend the program but limit its enrollment via advertising until the next legislative session, giving all involved more time to look at other possibilities and strategies to help wind down the program in what he characterized as a more orderly way.
The third idea — again, rejected by the private option dictators (‘scuse me) legislators — was the Ballinger-Hendren amendment, which would have ended enrollment on June 30 and forced the Legislature to consider the program in its entirety in 2015.
Just because one side doesn’t agree with — or get behind — proposals brought in good faith, doesn’t make it OK for them to lie about it.
The truth is the pro-PO lawmakers, GOP Senate President Lamoureux and GOP House Speaker Carter will not allow any changes to the program; it’s always been “all or nothing” in their book.
[Thanks to The Arkansas Project: Separation Anxiety: Can “Private” Option Funding Be Split From The Medicaid Budget?]