Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Jim Hendren to lead Republican caucus in Senate; talks compromise on Obamacare

Posted By on Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 6:52 AM

click to enlarge UNFAIR TO 'YANK AWAY' OBAMCARE: So says Senate GOP leader Jim Hendren, a staunch Obamacare foe.
  • UNFAIR TO 'YANK AWAY' OBAMCARE: So says Senate GOP leader Jim Hendren, a staunch Obamacare foe.
Talk Business reports on the election of Sen. Jim Hendren to lead the 22-member Republican caucus in the Senate.

Caucus discipline hasn't been much of a problem for Republicans in the Senate. Hendren's election is noteworthy because he's been a resolute opponent of the private option expansion of Medicaid. At least he can read the news, which showed yesterday an enormous jump in Arkansans with insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion and health exchange subsidies.


Hendren said the news did not change his opinion that the program is financially unsustainable. However, he said opponents must consider the large number of Arkansans who now have health insurance because of it.

“We have this program, and I’m one who believes you’ve got to be fair with people,” he said. “So anything that’s done, we have to take into account the fact that we’ve got a lot of people in Arkansas who are playing by the rules and who are working hard, and to just yank that away from them without any consideration is not something that I think is the right thing to do. So we’re going to have to look at how we can find some middle ground, or find some sort of process that gets us to a program that’s more sustainable.”

Senate Republicans will try to craft a compromise or at least just take a vote and get past it, Hendren said. He said his goal will be to “not let that define us as a caucus.”

“We’re not going to let those differences and those different groups that we come from prevent us from being effective as a caucus,” he said. “We’re just not going to let that happen.”

This will require some over-my-dead-body Republicans to reverse campaign pledges. But who, besides the Tea Party, will remember that? That's not a problem, right, Rep. Burris.

Seriously, Obamacare is working and could work even better if intransigent Republicans in Congress would do the small tweaks necessary to clear up a few points. Medical spending has stopped its runaway inflationary spiral. Some 200,000 Arkansans now have coverage who did not. Charity care at medical institutions has dropped. Pre-existing conditions don't bar coverage. Families are held together by insurance. Preventive care is being encouraged. Arkansas has placed further incentives to produce economy (while also guaranteeing a profit windfall for the private insurance industry). What's not to like? Except, of course, the dark-hued Kenyan Muslim who passed the historic achievement.

Tags: , , ,


Speaking of...


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Most Shared

  • Former reporter, Shoffner witness arrested in Jonesboro

    The Jonesboro Sun reports that Cord Rapert, a former reporter at the newspaper, was arrested this week on a forgery and burglary charge.
  • Slaves to the past

    A boyish white supremacist's massacre of nine worshipers at a black Charleston, S.C., church reminds us that, much as we may wish it were not so here in the old Confederacy, William Faulkner was right when he wrote in "Requiem for a Nun": "The past is never dead. It's not even past."
  • It could be worse. You could live in Louisiana or Mississippi or Texas

    Top legal officials in Louisiana and Mississippi say same-sex marriages still aren't possible in those state on account of legal technicalities.
  • Arkansas conservatives react to same-sex marriage decision

    Jason Rapert, Mike Huckabee, the Meeks bros, Jerry Cox — beyond these extremists, it's hard to find statements from other Arkansas conservatives. That tell you something?
  • Killer's failure

    Has any murdering terrorist ever failed more dramatically than Dylann Storm Roof? Like any punk with a gun, he managed to slaughter nine blameless African-American Christians at an historic church in Charleston, S.C. Intending to start a race war, he succeeded only in shocking the moral conscience of the state and nation.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2015 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation