It was a good week for health care in Arkansas 

It was a good week for ...

HEALTH CARE IN ARKANSAS Republican Sen. Jane English of North Little Rock said on Tuesday she would vote to reauthorize federal money to support Arkansas's private option for Medicaid expansion, thereby likely ensuring that more than 100,000 low- and moderate-income Arkansans won't lose health insurance only months after they received it. English voted against the private option during last year's general session. After two other Senate votes flipped from "yes" to "no," English became the swing vote.

HOG MEMORIES Former President Bill Clinton and former Razorback head basketball coaches Nolan Richardson and Eddie Sutton were on hand last Saturday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Arkansas's national championship.

DEATH PENALTY OPPONENTS Judge Wendell Griffen struck down the state's new lethal injection law because it gives too much discretion to the state Correction Department.

JANE CHU The president of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City was named head of the National Endowment for the Arts. Chu grew up in Arkadelphia and is an alumnus of Arkadelphia High School and Ouachita Baptist.

It was a bad week for ...

HEALTH CARE IN ARKANSAS The state private option appeared headed towards passage earlier this week, but in a somewhat crippled form. Rep. Nate Bell (R-Mena) introduced special language amendments that, among other things, would require people making as little as $6,000 a year to pay a copay and end all outreach funding for the program.

WARREN STEPHENS An excerpt from a new book caught Stephens singing a joke-y song about Wall Street to the tune of "Dixie" at a secret fraternity meeting of the 1 percent of the 1 percent.

SEN. MISSY IRVIN The Republican senator from Mountain View, one of the handful of retrograde legislators who've stood in the way of reauthorization of the private option, held a fundraiser while the legislature was amidst its special session. The House has a rule that prevents such fund raising; the Senate does not. That doesn't mean Irvin passes the smell test.

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