Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Outlines emerge of path to approval of the private option in Arkansas: A deal for Jane English

Posted By on Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 7:04 AM

click to enlarge REVERSE ENGLISH: Sen. Jane English throws in with the big spenders.
  • REVERSE ENGLISH: Sen. Jane English throws in with the big spenders.
Reports have emerged for a path to approval of continued appropriations for the private option expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare. It's a sop of some sort to Sen. Jane English, until now a rigid Tea Party-style opponent of bigger government. She's been persuaded to make a billion-dollar exception in the name of winning a workforce initiative dear to her heart.

UPDATE TO WHAT'S WRITTEN BELOW: English has announced her intention to support the private option, after more than a year in opposition and election with Tea Party support. She and a grateful Beebe administration will say she traded for some sort of jobs/training initiative. But the key word is "traded." I thought Tea Partyers were principled in opposition to growing government.

Here's her interview on her sellout with Roby Brock.

David Goins on Arkansas Matter last night said a pivotal vote in the Senate would be provided by an agreement to send the private option legislation to a statewide referendum. Would the legislature punt its solemnly elected duty to a multi-million-dollar special election? Bad idea. Bad precedent. But doesn't mean it won't happen.

Correction: I've misread the story Goins informs me. The "statewide initiative" referenced there is not an election, he said. What is it? Some kind of coordination of programs? More to come. But it perhaps more resembles than diverges from another path mentioned below, a joining of a holdout senator's idea with the private option. UPDATE: Indeed, a reliable source says both reports refer to the same solution, as yet hazy in specifics.

* Democrat-Gazette columnist John Brummett writes today that the condition for Sen. Jane English's pivotal vote to approve the private option are unspecified demands in workforce education. English is one of nine senators currently forming a roadblock to approval under Arkansas's uniquely perverse constitutional requirement for 75 percent votes on most appropriation bills. (Or at least that's the generally understood meaning of the Constitution.) She's been at the center of speculation as a likely swing vote.

It's more (or simply still) bad governance. Arkansas's workforce education might need improvement (or not, the Beebe administration says), but we certainly need some improvement in a system of governance that allows a single member of a tiny minority to hold the fate of health care coverage for a quarter of a million people hostage to his or her pet project.

Maybe this is just cover for Jane English, a fig leaf by her and the administration to appear to be doing something, actually of not particularly great substance, so she can get out of the way of an enormous financial benefit to medical institutions and people in her district in northern Pulaski County. The Tea Party, which provided an enthusiastic portion of her base in a very narrow win over Democrat Barry Hyde, won't be much mollified.

Tags: , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

  • Governor wants a plan for Medicaid

    September 22, 2016
    The Human Services Department released this afternoon  a monthly update by Director Cindy Gillespie on people insured thanks to applications for Obamacare's Medicaid expansion — about 317,000. /more/
  • Rapert claims victory over Facebook; either way, he still doesn't get 1st Amendment

    September 20, 2016
    Sen. Jason Rapert sent me a Tweet early this morning claiming that Facebook had relented and reinstated some anti-Muslim Facebook posts that had been removed for violation of the private social media company's "community standards." True or not, he still doesn't get the U.S. Constitution. /more/
  • Obamacare: Good for Arkansas

    September 14, 2016
    The Obama administration has issued another of its reports on the positive benefits of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise familiarly known as Obamacare. Arkansas has been a big winner. /more/
  • Casino v. Casino: The fight on Issue 5

    September 14, 2016
    The latest debate on more casino gambling in Arkansas is more likely to be decided by public attitudes about gambling in general rather than some of the legal questions raised by opponents, casino operators themselves. /more/
  • Leslie Rutledge: Throw out the Clintons

    September 9, 2016
    Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is listed as author of this polemic on Independent Journal Review, a Republican-backed website, urging a vote for Donald Trump for president. /more/
  • Arkansas's new Medicaid expert's past as Obamacare foe

    September 4, 2016
    The news of Arkansas's decision to bring in Dennis Smith, a former top Medicaid official for George W. Bush, included mention of the controversy that marked his tenure as the Medicaid boss for Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker. The important part was not a connection to a sexual scandal, but policy. /more/
  • Obamacare works

    September 1, 2016
    If you read only the headlines you would think that Obamacare is on its last leg, a national train wreck even in Arkansas, where Republicans and Democrats preserved its biggest feature, assured medical care for the working poor. /more/
  • Dumas: Behind the Obamascare headlines

    August 30, 2016
    Ernest Dumas explains in his Arkansas times column this week how Obamacare's problems can be fixed; why it isn't going away, and, most pertinently, why it's more lucrative for Arkansas to continue to expand the coverage pool, not dream up ways to shrink it. /more/
  • A plan for Arkansas to get more out of the money it spends on corrections

    August 26, 2016
    Arkansas's prison population is among the fastest growing in the country. The state now spends more than half of a billion dollars on corrections, a 68 percent increase since 2004, and our prison population, which increased by 21 percent between 2012 and 2016, is expected to rise by another 19 percent between 2016 and 2023 to 21,345. Those were the facts and projections Justice Center, a project of the national nonprofit Council of State Governments, reminded people of yesterday before presenting criminal justice reform proposals. /more/
  • Arkansas criminal justice reform proposal due today

    August 25, 2016
    We'll get a good sense of what criminal justice reform legislation might look like in the 2017 General Assembly later today — as well as some potential stumbling blocks to its passage. Justice Center, an offshoot of the national nonprofit Council of State Governments, will offer policy recommendations to the Legislative Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force this afternoon at the Arkansas Association of Counties conference. /more/
  • More »

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The debate eve open line

    The Sunday open lines includes some rumination, not happy, about tomorrow night's presidential debate.
    • Sep 25, 2016
  • Ethics Commission begins investigation of Rep. Mike Holcomb

    The state Ethics Commission last week informed a complainant she'd raised sufficient questions about campaign finance filings by Republican Rep. Mike Holcomb to initiate an investigation.
    • Sep 25, 2016
  • Drug companies fight medical marijuana

    Disclosure about financing of the anti-medical marijuana campaign in Arkansas is so far lacking, but it's no secret what's happened in other states — pharmaceutical companies have worked to defeat medical marijuana laws because they create (safer) competition.
    • Sep 25, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • Who's harming women?

    Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is an Arkansas Republican. Thus, like the governor and the Republican-majority legislature, she intends to do everything she can to deny women comprehensive medical care, particularly abortion.
  • New normal

    No two presidential candidates since polling began have run up negatives as massive as those of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who yet won their parties' nominations easily. "What gives?" may be the biggest political mystery in history.
  • Additional rape charges filed against Conway doctor

    Special Prosecutor Jason Barrett has added 11 more victims to two others alleging rape by Dr. Robert Rook of Conway.
  • Big Dam Bridge 100 brings big damn complaint about celebrity rider Hincapie

    The Big Dam Bridge 100 is this weekend and one dedicated biker isn't happy about a celebrity rider, admitted doper George Hincapie.

Most Viewed

  • Drug companies fight medical marijuana

    Disclosure about financing of the anti-medical marijuana campaign in Arkansas is so far lacking, but it's no secret what's happened in other states — pharmaceutical companies have worked to defeat medical marijuana laws because they create (safer) competition.
  • The debate eve open line

    The Sunday open lines includes some rumination, not happy, about tomorrow night's presidential debate.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The debate eve open line

    • It's after midnight, so presidential election starts today. Unfortunately, my man Gary "What is Aleppo"…

    • on September 26, 2016
  • Re: The debate eve open line

    • The Little Rock connection to 2001: the star of the first - and only -…

    • on September 26, 2016
  • Re: The debate eve open line

    • Olphart - I read Arthur Clarke's 2xxx series too. The first episode - the co-production…

    • on September 26, 2016

Blogroll

 

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