Thursday, December 13, 2012

Will Republicans budge on Medicaid expansion?

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Michael Lamoureux
  • Michael Lamoureux

Are Republicans giving more consideration to Medicaid expansion? Maybe, though there’s not much juice in today’s article on the topic from the AP, despite its headline. If you squint really hard, you can read this as promising:

“I think from the liberal and progressive side, people want to see more people covered by Medicaid. From the conservative side, people are worried about the long-term financial risk to the state," said incoming Senate President Michael Lamoureux, a Republican, adding, "There's a rare opportunity to couple the two."

Not much context provided but maybe there’s hope that Lamoureaux can be convinced that the fiscal benefit to the state makes expansion a good deal for Arkansas wholly aside from the fact that “from the liberal and progressive side, people want to see more people covered.”

Meanwhile, expect to hear lots more like this as the debate heats up in the coming legislative session:

"I pay my taxes and my taxes go to the federal government and I'll be basically paying taxes for people in other states to have the expansion when I can't get it myself," said Claudia Reynolds-LeBlanc, of Hot Springs, a part-time retail worker in her 50s who earns $20,000 a year. Her 12-year-old son is covered under a children's health program, but Reynolds-LeBlanc hasn't had insurance since 2000.

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