Don’t despair on Medicaid. Pessimism will do.

I see that another leading blogger has declared all this political theater to be pointless because these Republican know-nothings are never going to expand Medicaid and we may as well just say so.

Indeed, you’re not going to go broke betting against progress and reason from this General Assembly.

But there are things yet to happen.

House Speaker Davy Carter has declared publicly that Medicaid expansion makes economic sense for Arkansas. He worries about costs to the state government treasury after full federal funding ends.

He said on Roby Brock’s show the other night that the idea of a circuit-breaker — by which expanded Medicaid spending would be cut if promised federal aid should be cut — is a good one, but that there might be other unspecified longer-term protections for the state.

He is a banker who is a slave to his financial calculations. He may yet have something to say on this point. He’s always doing ciphering.

It’s a long shot, yes, that he or anyone else could design something activist enough to win Democrats while fiscally sound enough to assure Republicans.

Even then, a federal waiver would have to be sought.

Senate President Pro Tem Michael Lamoureux has a reasonable side on this matter as well.

So I would advocate only pessimism, not full despair, at this point.

And, yes, if all else fails, there is a school of thought by which Medicaid expansion could be effected by a simple majority vote, not the requisite three-fourths for an appropriation.

It’s pretty straightforward, and valid, I think, but I’m not interested in getting the right-wing zealots who resent aid to the poor squealing about it just yet.


8 Responses to 'Don’t despair on Medicaid. Pessimism will do.'

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  1. Arkansas citizens will die while our state government delays Obamacare. Sometimes the gold is at the end of the rainbow but certain people don’t care because their family doesn’t need or require the gold. For so many who proclaim to be religious, pew-sitting is their only frame of reference. I almost miss Nixon and his goal of health care for all. Wake up Mike Beebe and be accountable.

    L Taylor

    19 Feb 13 at 9:07 am

  2. […] By jbrummett […]

  3. It’s becoming more obvious daily that our new representatives are more interested in party affiliations then they are interested in the citizens of Arkansas. However, the more astonishing thing for me is their proposed affiliation with the business community and their inability to see the impact their ignorance will have on small towns and county hospitals, clinics and other related businesses in these small communities and who pays the bills when uninsured patients go to emergency rooms for treatment – are they really that ignorant or just everydayt stupid for the most part?

    Nathaniel McGee

    19 Feb 13 at 3:23 pm

  4. L Taylor and Nathanial McGee – if money grew on trees your arguments would win out. Unfortunately we have this little problem called a deficit in Washington. Someone has to pay for expansion. Do you want the Chinese to finance Medicaid expansion?


    19 Feb 13 at 3:58 pm

  5. No I don’t think China should pay for Medicaid expansion. Such distorted rhetoric is a waste of time.
    All citizens of the USA deserve the very best health care regardless of income. The USA has health care rated lower than twenty-six ( 42nd on some charts) other first world countries. We are a country where medical care can financially bankrupt a normal family or where medical care is not sought because parents putting food on the table and a roof over their families heads is their first priority. Even China has virtually free health care at a mere seven dollars a visit and it includes prescription medication, x-rays, hospitalization, etc. Good day.

    L Taylor

    19 Feb 13 at 4:58 pm

  6. Steve Barnes put this issue in perspective in a speech today when he pointed out that Mississippi gets back $2.01 from the Feds for every dollar its citizens pays in federal taxes, with Arkansas not too far back at $1.41. New York, Connecticut and other rich Yankee states are subsidizing us. And who hollers most about the conniving, mean old Feds out to get us?

    Walter Nunn

    19 Feb 13 at 5:14 pm

  7. Let me get this straight: We have huge deficits in Washington because our previous Democratic president balanced the budget and left with assurances that it would continue to decrease after he left, only to be followed by a Republican president who decided that it was better to have drastics tax cuts rather than have a balanced budget, leading to increased deficits, followed by a near collapse of the banking system, which required him (and not the following Democratic president) to have a huge bailout, causing huge deficits. Meanwhile, he started a costly war and occupation which also caused huge deficts, leaving the mess for others to clean up. All this with a totally unco-operative minority party to exaberate the mess, leaving us huge deficits. Is that the problem?
    Then, we now have the idiots in Little Rock who want to turn this state into an armed camp. I suspect medical costs in the state to go up due to an increase in the number of gunshot wounds.

    Bill Kennamer

    19 Feb 13 at 5:51 pm

  8. L Taylor: It WILL be a good day when you move to China to take part in their health care system, food shortages that require imports from the United States, lax environmental and safety requlations, one child per household, and a tyranical government–which does NOT allow this type of discourse. What JC was pointing out is very true, if Arkansas expands Medicaid, and personally, I’m in favor of it, someone has to pay for it. When the Feds say they will, that means you and I will pay for it, as long as you pay taxes, too. And when the Feds quit paying the full amount, just remember, the taxes in Arkansas will go up because of the Feds unfunded mandate. Because I have an adult son with a disability, I have seen the good Medicaid can do and I’ve also seen the crap behind the scenes in trying to get his Medicaid approved because of a lack of funding. And it was the wonderful, caring Democrats (that was sarcastic) who were in charge during the time that caused us to have massive amounts of red tape and delays.


    19 Feb 13 at 5:52 pm

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