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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

UPDATE: French Hill opposes the private option, but Asa Hutchinson continues to dodge

Posted By on Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 11:35 AM

click to enlarge PRIVATE AFFAIRS: Add GOP congressional candidate  French Hill to the list with Asa Hutchinson as a Republican politician so far not talking about his position on Arkansas' sprivate option Medicaid expansion. At leat they're not talking to us.
  • PRIVATE AFFAIRS: Add GOP congressional candidate French Hill to the list with Asa Hutchinson as a Republican politician so far not talking about his position on Arkansas' sprivate option Medicaid expansion. At leat they're not talking to us.
So about this private option.

Rep. Ann Clemmer voted for it last year, but not this week. She's running for 2nd District Congress in the Republican primary. Is that why the change?

Surely her GOP primary opponent French Hill, an establishment Little Rock Republican, from a section of town crammed with people who work at the medical institutions that employ tens of thousands of people in Little Rock, isn't going to beat up Clemmer for supporting a plan that enjoys broad and deep bipartisan support? (Teabagger Conrad Reynolds is another matter.)

At least that's what I thought.

UPDATE: I was wrong. A Republican who follows these things thinks French Hill has told a Tea Party group that he's a private option opponent. I sent out a couple of queries to try to get an answer on where he stands. No response until I posted this item. It has now arrived:

"I oppose any implementation of ObamaCare in Arkansas, including the so-called "private option"; and, when elected to Congress, I will work to repeal and replace ObamaCare with reforms which increase healthcare access, provide choice, and reduce costs for Arkansans. Due to the unknown future costs to Arkansas taxpayers, the unintended negative cnsequences on coverage and pricing and a resulting race to the bottom in patient service, it's a bad deal for our state."

Communications with the Hill camp have been hard to come by here, so I welcome the definitive answer. Next for our genealogy buffs: More details from Hill on his ninth-generation Arkansas roots, the current record among Republican candidates, who all seem anxious to prove their Land of Opportunity bona fides.

Still nothing from Asa Hutchinson. He's told the Tea Party he favors the federal option. Let Congress repeal Obamacare. But he's avoided  a direct answer on an Arkansas program that has provided health security to more than 100,000 people.

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