Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Government shutdown raised in Arkansas Medicaid expansion debate

Posted By on Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 6:20 AM

click to enlarge POTENT LABEL: Obamacare is a dirty political word in Arkansas.
  • POTENT LABEL: Obamacare is a dirty political word in Arkansas.
The possibility of a government shutdown has been raised in the context of the Arkansas House's failure so far to adopt the state human services budget with its continuation of the Obamacare-enabled expansion of Medicaid. Who gains politically from a shutdown? In Arkansas, the answer might not be so clear as it seems.

From Talking Points Memo:

Talking to reporters Monday in Washington, where he's been attending the National Governors Association's annual meeting, Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe (D) acknowledged that a shutdown in Little Rock was a possibility. He conceded that the House, where the funding bill is currently stuck, is two votes short of the supermajority needed to approve the federal funding.

But he said he hoped that conservatives in the Arkansas House had learned a lesson from their colleagues in Congress and wouldn't shut down the government over the health care reform law. For now, the state government is funded through June, but according to the Associated Press, lawmakers have warned that the impasse over Medicaid could stop the entire next year's budget from passing.

"There's no telling what kind of hardball somebody could play," Beebe said. "I think last year the Republicans in Congress figured out they didn't want to do that anymore."

"I think the voting public would be very irritated with everybody. It'd be hard to figure out who they're going to blame."

You'd think it would be simple. A tiny minority blocking a program with benefits for tens of thousands. That minority's blockade shutting down, or even just crippling, all other government programs. Would you blame the 100 who've voted for Medicaid expansion or the 35 who opposed it. Again, in Arkansas, the answer is, don't be so sure. The Republican Party is running an all-Obamacare-all-the-time election strategy. Call the majority's vote a vote for Obamacare and public opinion might side with the bitter-enders. Clearly, they think they're safe in their districts now.

Tags: , , , , ,

Speaking of...

  • Tom Cotton and the Republicans get desperate

    August 19, 2014
    Tom Cotton and Karl Rove and Co. are growing increasingly desperate and incoherent in attacks on Sen. Mark Pryor, who's proving not so easy to defeat as Republicans once believed. /more/
  • Is Obamacare losing steam as attack ammo?:

    August 19, 2014
    Is Obamacare losing steam as campaign material for Republicans in key Senate races? A new analysis shows a sharp drop in its use in TV ads, including in Arkansas. No wonder. Hard to argue with the positive results. /more/
  • Today's news: Minimum wage and Mark Martin

    August 18, 2014
    The drive to increase the minimum wage and continuing questions about Secretary of State Mark Martin's double-dipping on a property tax exemption should prompt additional news today. /more/
  • Southern governors discuss efforts to contain health care costs

    August 17, 2014
    In addition to coverage expansion, there was much talk at the Southern Governors Conference on health care payment reform — Gov. Mike Beebe argued that while it has gotten less attention, the state's Payment Improvement Initiative is an equally important development in health care reform in the state. Beebe said he was "more convinced than ever that fee for service was an unsustainable model for the payment of health care in this country." /more/
  • Southern Governors Association talks private option

    August 16, 2014
    Gov. Mike Beebe, as well as governors from Maryland and Kentucky, discussed health care reform and the private option – the unique Arkansas version of Medicaid expansion – at a panel this morning at the Southern Governors Association meeting. Here are a few highlights, including the unique status of Arkansas and Kentucky, the possibility that the private option helped cut disability applications, and why Beebe thinks Arkansas got it right and Louisiana got it wrong. /more/
  • Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley stumps for Rapert opponent Tyler Pearson

    August 16, 2014
    Sen. Jason Rapert is the bogeyman Arkansas Democrats love to hate. Can political newcomer Tyler Pearson take down the incumbent? Pearson discussed pre-k and raising the state minimum wage at a campaign event today featuring Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. /more/
  • Beebe: minority of legislature won't run over majority to block private option in 2015

    August 16, 2014
    Gov. Mike Beebe hosted a panel this morning on the private option — the state's plan using Medicaid funds to purchase private health insurance for low-income Arkansans — at the Southern Governors Association meeting in downtown Little Rock. Beebe used the occasion to make a prediction — more bold, aggressive and blunt than we're accustomed to from Beebe, nearing the end of his term. The private option isn't going anywhere, Beebe said, because ultimately the overwhelming majority of the legislature supports it. /more/
  • Bill Clinton on private option and Sunni tribal leaders and genomics and Mike Beebe

    August 15, 2014
    Bill Clinton delivered the keynote address at the Southern Governors' Association this afternoon at the Little Rock Marriott. The theme of this year's conference is "Accelerating the American South's R&D Network", which of course Clinton interpreted as free license to riff on everything from welfare reform to the crisis in Ukraine. /more/
  • Another Republican tax cheat? Blue Hog notes Secretary of State Mark Martin's improper homestead tax exemption

    August 15, 2014
    Could another Arkansas politician end up in hot water over homestead tax credits? Remember, Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson improperly claimed homestead property tax exemptions in two counties for four years — 2008 through 2011 — though state law limits you to one $350 exemption. The Blue Hog Report blog (which has a history of breaking stories that turn out to be headaches for Arkansas Republicans) has done some digging and it appears that Secretary of State Mark Martin took the homestead exemption on both a house in Rogers and a house in Praire Grove, at least since 2008 and possibly as far back as 2003. /more/
  • Tim Griffin is all wet

    August 15, 2014
    Rep. Tim Griffin challenges Max Brantley to get soaked. /more/
  • More »

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Most Shared

  • Michelle Duggar and the Family Council try to torpedo Fayetteville non-discrimination ordinance with lies

    The Arkansas Family Council has enlisted Michelle Duggar to oppose a Fayetteville non-discrimination ordinance with a fear-mongering robocall.
  • Train derailment in Hoxie kills 2; homes evacuated

    Two people were killed with two trains collided near Hwy. 67 early this morning, and State Police are evacuating residents of the southern end of the city while the trains burn. U.S. 67 south of Hoxie and U.S. 63 are closed. The trains were carrying hazardous chemicals.
  • Minimum wage group turns in nearly 70,000 additional signatures

    Give Arkansas a Raise Now, the group seeking to qualify a ballot measure to raise the state minimum wage from $6.25 to $8.50 an hour by 2017, turned in an additional 69,070 signatures to the Arkansas Secretary of State's office today.
  • American Bridge releases report on Koch brothers' environmental impacts and layoffs

    American Bridge, the liberal PAC formed by David Brock, the former Clinton foe now dedicated to round-the-clock Hillary Clinton defender, is out today with a new report on environmental impacts and layoffs from Koch Industries. The report focuses on the business activities of the Koch brothers — more famous for hundreds of millions in political spending aimed at slashing government services, regulation and taxes — in twelve states, including Arkansas. From the report: "The Kochs' extreme, self-serving agenda is bad for working families. And that reality is starkly embodied not only by their political persuasions, but by their business endeavors."
  • And then I ... read about a tour of sculpture installations by Barbara Satterfield

    Ceramicist Barbara Satterfield, one of the Arkansas Times' "Visionaries" in 2013, has announced the creation of a touring, interactive sculpture exhibit that will be installed in public places in Helena, Heber Springs, Dardanelle and Warren before the final exhibition at the Cox Creative Center.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2014 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation