Friday, July 25, 2014

Stacy Hurst tacks against GOP messaging with support for private option

Posted By on Fri, Jul 25, 2014 at 6:43 AM

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My column this week questions whether there's room for a moderate in the Arkansas Republican Party.

At least one Republican is charting that course. City Director Stacy Hurst, who's running as a Republican in a historically Democratic district in the Heights and western Little Rock against Democrat Clarke Tucker, issued a marker last night with an e-mail endorsing the private option version of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion.

People before politics. It's that simple. That's why I support the bi-partisan "Private Option" plan enacted by Democratic Governor Mike Beebe and the Republican Legislature.

We must continue to work to lower premiums and contain long-term costs. We also must work to incentivize preventive care and promote greater individual responsibility. Most importantly, we must continue to preserve accessibility to health insurance for those who need it most.

The Private Option is a great example of how we can work across party lines to put people ahead of political gamesmanship. I can remember a time when Republican Governor Mike Huckabee worked with then Democratic State Senator Mike Beebe to pass ARKIDS First - a groundbreaking program for children in our state. I believe we can still work together to do great things in the area of healthcare.

Ensuring quality, affordable healthcare and putting people before politics. That's my focus now.

Smart message. It is also a safe and relatively easy one to make in this particular legislative district, stuffed with people who make a living from the medical/insurance industrial complex. Not to mention Democrats. And no Tea Party Republican or Libertarian is on the scene to siphon anti-Obama votes. Nonetheless, the message departs from the script being followed by most Republican candidates this year. Now if she would just  go all the way and give the private option its proper name — Obamacare.



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