Friday, April 5, 2013

UPDATE: Senate endorses Medicaid expansion

Posted By on Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 9:27 AM

MEDICAID EXPANSION ADVOCATE: Sen. Jonathan Dismang (here with Surgeon General Joe Thompson) led the presentation of the Beebe administration proposal to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act.
  • BRIAN CHILSON
  • MEDICAID EXPANSION ADVOCATE: Republican Sen. Jonathan Dismang, here with Surgeon General Joe Thompson, led the presentation of the Beebe administration proposal to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act.

The Senate convened at 8 a.m. today to discuss the legislation to take advantage of federal Medicaid expansion through a so-called private option system of moving eligible people from conventional Medicaid to coverage under the new private insurance offered by health exchanges. At 9:30 a.m., they're still talking.

Lindsey Millar, who's covering the discussion, reports that most of the questions seem to be coming from Democratic senators. The Republican majority ultimately will call the shots.

UPDATE FROM LM: One of the most hotly debated issues of the General Assembly failed to elicit any contentious questions or testimony this morning. Most of the questions came from Democrats.

The key architects of the legislation, Republican Sens. Jonathan Dismang and David Sanders, hit familiar talking points when speaking for the bill: They were doing their best with a bad situation (Sanders: “This is not the greatest thing since sliced bread”). The cost of doing nothing, particularly in the long term, is greater than the private option. The federal debt is a concern, but as Dismang said, “what’s inside this bill is the right direction for us to move forward with health care in Arkansas.”

No one used the word “Obamacare” all morning.

The measure was approved by the Senate 24-9. The enabling legislation needs only a simple majority, but the appropriation to follow will need 3/4ths support, or 27 votes. This vote was seen as a barometer of support. Can Dismang, Sanders et al pick up three voters next time around?

CORRECTION: We got the not-voting members wrong originally. Here's how it went:

NAYS (all Republicans): Bledsoe, A. Clark, J. English, J. Hendren, Hester, J. Hutchinson, Irvin, G. Stubblefield, E. Williams

NOT VOTING (both Republicans): King, Rapert.

There are some potential turnovers in there. Irvin, for example, has made some positive remarks in recent days. Insiders say the Senate definitely will produce the necessary 27 votes. The House is up in the air and will remain so until the very last, most likely.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Arkansas Supreme Court denies rehearing in death penalty challenge, but delays mandate

    The Arkansas Supreme Court today refused to rehear the case denying Death Row inmates information about drugs used by the state in the lethal injection process.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Welspun layoffs: Another example of corporate welfare folly

    Layoffs at the Welspun pipe plant in Little Rock are a reminder of the folly of corporate welfare and the inability of Arkansas to separate itself from global economic forces. See the Fayetteville shale. And keep a watchful eye on that Sun Paper pulp mill proposed near Arkadelphia.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Hamburg bank manager gets 21 months for theft

    Melinda Gwin, 49, of Hamburg has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered to repay $210,875 stolen from the First National Bank of Crossett. She was sentenced in El Dorado federal court, according to a Justice Department news release.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Homicide victim identified as TC Edwards, local musician

    Little Rock police are still withholding identification of a man found shot to death early Sunday on Howard Street, but multiple reports on social media are tying the death to that of a well-known figure on the local music scene, TC Edwards. The suspect in a criminal case brought over crimes against Edwards will likely be reviewed for potential involvement in his death.
    • Dec 8, 2014
  • Top 10 Little Rock albums of 2014

    Here are the Little Rock albums we listened to more than any others this year, the ones that meant the most to us and that we’d push on any out-of-towners who asked what was new in the Little Rock music scene.
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • The bigots-are-going-to-be-bigots open line

    The Baptist bigots won't settle for any compromise on a new Fayetteville city rights ordinance. Christians who want to discriminate against gay people must be protected.
    • Dec 21, 2014

Most Shared

  • Tackling autism, child by child

    An Arkansas Children's Hospital doctor is testing a new drug that targets one of a host of ailments the highly individual disorder can cause.
  • 1957 all over again

    Last week, the State Board of Education voted to ignore federal courts and allow school district transfers that will encourage segregation.
  • Death penalty lives

    Barely clinging to its flagging life, the death penalty got a merciful reprieve last month from the unlikeliest quarter, the Arkansas Supreme Court.
  • Drinking culture

    Here we go again. At the rate these campus sexual abuse sagas are making news, it's reasonable to ask what college administrators can possibly be thinking about.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation