The Arkansas Department of Human Services today released an updated county-by-county map on enrollees in the private option, the unique state plan to use Medicaid funds to purchase private health insurance plans for low-income Arkansans.
In addition to the 85,309 enrollees shown above, around ten thousand more have been deemed eligible and will be enrolled. Tens of thousands more have applied, with their eligibility determination still in progress.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services distributed a news release today to tout the billions in savings by Medicare recipients on prescription drugs and preventive health care thanks to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare if that's your epithet of choice. Arkansas has benefited disproporationately. /more/
The government today announced an increasing enrollment in marketplace health insurance plans made possible by the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known derisively as Obamacare. More than 64,000 signed up or were otherwise enrolled in Arkansas. /more/
Before suspending our fascination with Arkansas's rocky love affair with Obamacare and its "private option" for the rest of 2015, may we re-examine a couple of the great propaganda frauds that were perpetuated during the long battles in Arkansas and nationally? /more/
State Rep. Josh Miler, who famously has drawn millions in Medicaid and other public assistance on account of a disability from a drunk driving car wreck but who has opposed the private option expansion of Medicaid, failed again in committee today with a bill to repeal the private option. /more/
Ernest Dumas has another valuable column this week debunking myths about the devastating impact of Obamacare, particularly in Arkansas. To begin: Jobs are up, Medicaid costs are down, the state budget is sharply improving, in part from the enormous stimulus of federal medical care dollars. /more/
Advocates of the disabled and the elderly rallied at the Capitol rotunda this morning to urge the legislature to sign off on the Community First Choice Option (CFCO), the federal program that would allow individuals who qualify for institutional care under Medicaid to instead receive at-home or community-based services. Among those who showed up: Republican Rep. Josh Miller, a staunch foe of the private option but a friend of the CFCO. /more/
I couldn't help but notice something odd about today's headline in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette regarding the reauthorization of the private option, the expansion of Medicaid-funded insurance that's been fully at the center of politics in Arkansas for the past two years. See if you can spot it: /more/
If I was a hack, I would totally be making this freelance pitch: "The Golden Age of Podcasts." But I am not that guy. I am a guy who is here to offer you NEWS YOU CAN USE. Also: More useful recommendations.
by Lindsey Millar, Bryan Moats, Benjamin Hardy and David Ramsey
Three or four different times I've been out at a bar or restaurant and happened upon a beer from Moody Brews, the Little Rock brewery started by Josiah Moody, formerly of Vino's. Every time: outstanding. From my days writing blurbs for the Arkansas Times Craft Beer Festival, I've used up every clever adjective or way of talking about how beer is tasty so let me just say that all of their beer is fucking tasty.
by Will Stephenson, Michael Roberts, Benjamin Hardy, Bryan Moats and David Ramsey
A fight could be brewing over regulation of puppy mills, with legislation planned to better protect dogs and opposition already underway from a state representative who makes a living working with commercial dog breeders.
It is hard for a straight person, The Observer included, to imagine what it would be like to be born gay — to be shipwrecked here on this space-going clod, where nearly every textbook, novel, film and television show, nearly every blaring screen or billboard or magazine ad, reinforces the idea that "normal" means "heterosexual."
The Presbytery of Arkansas, the governing body for Presbyterian churches in the northern two-thirds of Arkansas, met Saturday at Clarksville and adopted a resolution urging Gov. Asa Hutchinson to veto SB 202, which is aimed at preventing local government from passing anti-discrimination laws to protect gay people. The Presbytery also expressed its opposition to a pending House bill that, in the name of "conscience," would protect those who discriminate against gay people.