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.