Will appeasement or the 1st Amendment triumph on Planned Parenthood? | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Will appeasement or the 1st Amendment triumph on Planned Parenthood?

Posted By on Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 5:07 PM

The Arkansas Bully Boys — Rep. John Burris and Sens. David Sanders — met with Gov. Mike Beebe today on matters related to implementation of Obamacare in Arkansas. Republicans are driving the train because they provided enough votes to achieve the 75 percent vote necessary to receive Obamacare millions for expansion of Medicaid coverage in the state. (Democrats provided more votes in total, it's still worth remembering.)

Burris and Sanders have crowned themselves potentates of Arkansas. Executive agencies must comply with their demands or they'll let Republicans kill Medicaid expansion. Their current extortion is over preventing Planned Parenthood, a health delivery organization, from joining other agencies in receiving a tiny bit of federal money to employ outreach workers to help people navigate the new procedures for getting health coverage. Republicans don't want Planned Parenthood to get state contract money because the organization believes in abortion rights. That is unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination.

No matter. The Republican Bully Boys and their apologists want peace in our time. Nothing for Planned Parenthood or the Bullies will pitch a screaming fit and it will be Planned Parenthood's fault if 250,000 poor Arkansans get screwed, not the bullies whose unconstitutional discrimination made it happen. At least that's how the Bullies' sycophants will spin it.

Beebe's spokesman Matt DeCample said legislators again made clear their "concerns." But he said, "No decision was reached. No deal was struck." He added that it was a "positive conversation," from the standpoint of an agreement by all in the meeting (if not by a number of Republican legislators) that Obamacare expansion should move foward.

DeCample said neither the governor nor any representative of his had reached out to Planned Parenthood to try to get it to stand down on its application to participate with full rights of citizenship in the state contract process. He also said the office had not yet considered the legal ramifications of denying the organization's participation on account of its political beliefs.

I spoke briefly earlier in the afternoon with Jay Bradford, the Insurance commissioner. He gave no hint of where this was headed, though he said a decision could be expected soon on whether or not he'd approve Planned Parenthood's participation. Approval would certainly draw an unfavorable vote from a Republican-majority legislative review committee. The committee doesn't have technical power to deny state contracts, but the review process has generally functioned that way as a practical matter.

I'm guessing Bradford will ultimately take the fall. No question in my mind where his heart is on this issue — a qualified organization should participate if it agrees to all relevant terms. But if I were betting, I'd bet PP will be thrown under the bus with the administration hoping PP won't make a federal case out of it.

If anyone believes appeasement on this tantrum will discourage future annexations of executive prerogative by the Bully Boys, they need to read some history

Tags: , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (15)

Showing 1-15 of 15

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-15 of 15

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016
  • A response to police arrests becomes a tutorial on race, class and policing in Little Rock

    John Walker, the 79-year-old civil rights lawyer, and his associate, Omavi Shukur, 29, a young lawyer devoted to criminal justice reform, talked to press this afternoon about their arrests Monday by Little Rock police for supposedly obstructing governmental operations in observing and attempting to film a routine police traffic stop. It was a tutorial on sharp views of race, class and governance in Little Rock.
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation