SB828: A Road Sign for Conservatives
Even though Governor Asa Hutchinson has decreed the Private Option is over, Senator David Sanders’ SB828 provides an obvious road sign on future health care in Arkansas, leaving conservative voters white-knuckled and squirming in their seats along the way.
Sanders says his bill allows our state to seek ACA waivers from the feds, which means we can “seek innovation” that he says will lead to reduced costs and better care. While Sanders talks a good game about innovation and savings, the legislation itself (look at the other hand!) reveals greater government bureaucracy and less transparency and accountability.
One focus is clearly on display in the bill’s title:
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE INSURANCE COMMISSIONER, THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION, THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, AND THE ARKANSAS HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE TO SEEK FEDERAL WAIVERS TO FACILITATE INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE AND HEALTH CARE
Notice “HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE” comes before “HEALTH CARE?”
Three years ago we got the Private Option; we were told Republicans had to “compromise” with the Democrat-controlled Legislature. Now we know anything Arkansas may do is ultimately governed by the ACA/Obamacare and its goals.
And even though Republicans now hold the majority, lawmakers are still “driving the bus” as hard as they can in that direction — and still trying to tell us they know more than the feds do about the ACA!
This is a financially disastrous ride we do not want to take. Voters made that abundantly clear with last November’s mandate at the polls.
But we see the road signs. And we see where the Republican Governor and Republican-controlled Legislature are driving us. When they reach the destination they have chosen for us, we hope they are aren’t too surprised to find all the empty seats on the bus.