Americans for Prosperity appears to endorse Nate Bell approach on private option, will not "score" appropriation vote | Arkansas Blog

Monday, February 17, 2014

Americans for Prosperity appears to endorse Nate Bell approach on private option, will not "score" appropriation vote

Posted By on Mon, Feb 17, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Though they still oppose the private option, Americans for Prosperity-Arkansas will not "score" the vote on the appropriation that includes the private option, the conservative advocacy group announced in a letter to lawmakers. AFP also approvingly noted the recent amendments to the bill from Rep. Nate Bell and Rep. John Burris, mentioning the ban on outreach funding for the private option and the Affordable Care Act, as well as the required creation of Health Savings Accounts. 

Though they don't quite come out and say it, it appears that AFP approves of the Bell tactic — get what you can in the fiscal session and fight the private option in 2015: "it is a long fight. The promise of a silver bullet to stop the law is a false hope." 

There is a split among conservative opponents of the private option on this, but many believe that a small minority of legislators blocking the appropriation — and the ensuring standoff — would simply end up being a political loser for Republicans. Sounds like that's AFP's take. 

Also implicit in the letter — legislators who voted against the private option last spring get props; folks who approved it then but are flipping to NO now, not so much. Sorry, Missy Irvin

AFP spent somewhere around $1 or 2 million on legislative races in Arkansas in 2012.

Here's the letter: 

Dear Representative,

This week the Arkansas Legislature is expected to vote on funding the budget for the Arkansas Department of Human Services. Some believe that opposing the budget is the opportunity to defund Medicaid expansion in Arkansas (also known as the Arkansas Private Option), a key push of President Obama's Health Care Law.

AFP has steadfastly fought to stop Medicaid Expansion in Arkansas and will continue to lead this effort. While we do not support this bill, we are not going to score the vote. The bill contains amendments that begin to take back ground from the expansion. Here are some key points we found in our research on this:

• Stops taxpayer funding of television ads promoting expansion.

• Stops taxpayer funded calls, direct mail, and emails to sign people up. 65,000 people alone signed up through direct mail.

• Stops taxpayer funding of Obamacare "Navigators".

• Requires the federal government's approval of Health Savings Accounts, successfully used by former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R).

Before the legislative session, we thanked those legislators who stood firm against expansion. We will certainly continue to educate citizens on the original vote that passed the expansion.

As we learned with President Obama's health care law, it is a long fight. The promise of a silver bullet to stop the law is a false hope. AFP-Arkansas will continue to lead the fight against the disastrous government take over.

In 2014, AFP-Arkansas will continue to aggressively educate citizens on the impact the government take-over of health care has on citizens on the federal and state level. You can see our current education efforts HERE.

We have always been forthright with our members on issues. We thank you for standing with us in so many battles. If we can answer your questions, please contact us. 

Sincerely,

Jason Cline
Arkansas Director
Americans for Prosperity

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