Another bad amendment for Medicaid expansion | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Another bad amendment for Medicaid expansion

Posted By on Sun, Mar 2, 2014 at 7:55 AM

click to enlarge 'DIFFICULT TO ENROLL': Rep. Warwick Sabin on latest idea to win approval of Medicaid expansion.
  • 'DIFFICULT TO ENROLL': Rep. Warwick Sabin on latest idea to win approval of Medicaid expansion.
The latest amendment being discussed to win the critical votes to pass the Arkansas version of Medicaid expansion under Obamacare is another bad idea.

As David Ramsey has reported, an idea being floated to win support from a couple of the 27 Republican holdouts in the House — where 73 of the needed 75 votes have been mustered — is to require an enrollment period for people newly eligible for private insurance coverage under a broader Medicaid program. If eligible people miss the enrollment period, they get regular Medicaid and can try again in a future year for private insurance.

Well, you might cheer this in one respect. Straight Medicaid is cheaper than coverage under the profit-making private insurance business. A factor unadvertised by the Republican proponents of the "private option" is that their plan probably increased the price rage of expanding medical coverage for working poor. So, in theory, the same number of people can be covered, some more cheaply.

But here's the real problem: It is Rep. Nate Bell's earlier amendment to prohibit advertisement or outreach to get people to sign up. He fully intends to strangle the program. He honestly admits he hopes to kill it next year. His amendment, which supposedly was to bring sufficient votes to approve the legislation this year, brought only Nate Bell. Some power broker.

In any case, the proposal is now to limit enrollment periods for a program about which the state can't provide information. The new enrollment periods will be, effectively, a secret as far as the state is concerned, unless you know where to go to ask the right person the magic question.

Stephens Media, in reporting on the latest, includes this:

“If we’ve already agreed not to fund outreach and publicity efforts, it’s going to be very difficult to let the people of Arkansas know when they can enroll in the plan,” said Rep. Warwick Sabin, D-Little Rock. 

Uh, yes.

The hope is that private insurers will step in and do the outreach. They will do some, of course. Because they are going to reap a windfall profit from having more people to insure with reliable government money. 

Latest predictions, by the way, are that the dead-enders will propose their amendment to effectively shut down the private option after this year. It will be soundly defeated. Then the effort to add the latest ill-conceived amendment, described above, will begin. Private option authorization is expected to pass Tuesday.* Not Monday. Legislators want the dust to settle from the end of election filing at noon Monday.

* — If one more vote on the private option fails, chaos ensues. The Democrats have grown tired of being John Burris/ patsy.





Tags: , , ,


Favorite

Comments (19)

Showing 1-19 of 19

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-19 of 19

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Dismang appoints Benton man to Medical Marijuana Commission

    Sen. Jonathan Dismang, president pro tempore of the Senate, announced this afternoon that he'd appointed Kevin Russell of Benton to fill a four-year term on the state Medical Marijuana Commission.
    • Dec 17, 2018
  • Authorities announce federal complaint against 'porch pirate'

    The local/federal news conference today to announce a joint law enforcement effort to crack down on thieves who pilfer packages from porches included the announcement of a federal arrest of a package theft suspect.
    • Dec 17, 2018
  • Boyle Building listed for sale for $5.995 million

    The historic Boyle Building at Capitol Avenue and Main has been listed for sale for $5.995 million by the Chi Hotel Group, which purchased it in March 2014 for $4.5 million with plans to develop a hotel.
    • Dec 17, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Slideshows

  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments

 

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