Prediction: Slowing of Medicaid spending will drive renewed push for repeal of soft drink tax | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Prediction: Slowing of Medicaid spending will drive renewed push for repeal of soft drink tax

Posted By on Sat, Jul 13, 2013 at 6:35 AM

JIM GUY TUCKER: Led soft drink tax for Medicaid support.
  • JIM GUY TUCKER: Led soft drink tax for Medicaid support.
Good news yesterday from the Arkansas Department of Human Services. The program ended the budget year June 30 with a $62 million cushion in the Medicaid trust fund thanks to the slowest growth of spending in the program in years. Medicaid spending has slowed nationally and, in Arkansas, most believe new methods of reimbursement related to episodes of care are contributing to the slowdown.

Overall in Arkansas, spending in the $4.6 billion program increaed by 1.5 percent from the year before, the smallest rate of growth in 31 years.

The trend meant the state didn't have to cut some services that, for a time, were on the chopping block.

That's all good. But it is sure to revive the old debate and invigorate the push by the soft drink industry to repeal the 20-year-old soft drink tax, which raises almost $50 million annually dedicated to Medicaid. It was a signature achievement of Gov. Jim Guy Tucker.

Get an advance look at the coming debate in Talk Business.

Here's Dennis Farmer, who leads the soft drink lobby, writing about the industry's desire for repeal.

And here's Jim Guy Tucker with good history and a defense of the tax, which has served the state well.

I am happy this Trust Fund is available to serve our poorest citizens who are in need, and I am grateful and proud that our citizens voted to provide for these health care needs. Hopefully, we have done so with a relatively light burden on those who savor their soft drinks and those good and legitimate businesses that profit from the sale of their product — and helped our poorest citizens in the process.

Tags: , , , , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (16)

Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Where's the outrage?

    Am I the only person, apart from federal prosecutors, outraged about the criminal enterprise that inveigled itself into a privileged position as an Arkansas taxpayer-financed human services provider to the tune, today, of $43 million a year?
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • Where's the outrage?

    • Jun 21, 2018
  • Rutledge opponent hits her socializing with corporate interests

    Mike Lee, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, has criticized Attorney General Leslie Rutledge over recent reports of her participation at private meetings where corporate interests make big contributions to a political group she heads for access to state legal officers.
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • The LR chamber does the public's business. Is it accountable? Blue Hog on the case.

    Matt Campbell, lawyer and Blue Hog Report blogger, has sent a Freedom of Information Act request to Jay Chessir, director of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Mayor Mark Stodola related to the publicity stunt yesterday  built around withdrawing from the mayor's rash pronouncement that the city would seek an Amazon HQ2 project even though the city  didn't meet the company's criteria.
    • Oct 20, 2017
  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation