Friday, March 25, 2011

Insurance exchange bill fails

Posted By on Fri, Mar 25, 2011 at 9:56 AM

HB 2138, the bill to set up state insurance exchanges under the federal health reform law, failed to clear committee Friday morning. The vote was 10-7, with 11 needed for approval. Could be another try next week.

Jason Tolbert reports that Democrat Rep. Keith Ingram was in the room, but did not vote. What's he trading for? That special language raid on the land commissioner's money for his local community college, maybe?

My further information is that another vote is up in the air. There's a great urge to get this session over before there's more mischief in other areas. If it dies at this point, the spin is simple and was articulated in questioning today by Rep. Barry Hyde: Republicans have voted to let the Obama administration oversee health exchanges in Arkansas rather than local officials. Welcome to Obamacare.

More details on the meeting from Roby Brock.

Roll call on the jump. Note that Republican Rep. Jon Woods, who'd argued for the bill's passage and who some believe was heard to vote aye on the voice vote, did not want a recorded vote for the measure. He voted no.

YES (10)
Allen
Lovell
Wilkins
Wright
Wren
Catlett
Murdock
Wardlaw
Hyde
Word

NO (7)

Woods
King
Rice
Kerr
Biviano
Westerman
Carnine

PRESENT BUT NOT VOTING (1)

Ingram

ABSENT (2)

Pierce
Barnett

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