Throw 150,000 people off health insurance? No biggie, Asa Hutchinson says | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Throw 150,000 people off health insurance? No biggie, Asa Hutchinson says

Posted By on Thu, May 8, 2014 at 4:34 PM

click to enlarge ASA HUTCHINSON: 150,000 lose medical coverage? Hey, it happens.
  • ASA HUTCHINSON: 150,000 lose medical coverage? Hey, it happens.
Whew. Cold fish Asa Hutchinson, the Republican gubernatorial favorite, surfaced big time today in an interview posted today by KUAR about what might happen if Republicans do deliver on their promise to kill Obamacare or its private option Medicaid expansion in Arkansas.

Hey, People lose insurance, Asa says. What's the big deal?

The Democratic Party is up in arms. Can't blame them. Here's how the party put it:

What was Congressman Hutchinson’s answer? You have to read and hear it to believe it:

Hutchinson: Well, it would just be like any other person who has insurance. They have a private insurance policy and so if the funding mechanism is changed or stopped, then the insurance company notifies the citizen policyholder that you’ve got to find other means of having coverage. And so it’s a very simple process, actually, to change gears.

To be clear: This is how Congressman Hutchinson talks about taking away private health insurance from hundreds of thousands of working Arkansans. Hutchinson continues:

Hutchinson: We’ll have to wait and see how this pans out in terms of affordability and what is accomplished in the goals. But it’s a very simple process to end – simply a notification by the private insurance – and that’s the advantage over traditional Medicaid. You cut somebody off of Medicaid, you’ve got many other legal issues that are involved.

According to Congressman Hutchinson, the advantage of the Private Option isn’t the hundreds of thousands of Arkansans who now have access to quality, private health insurance. Congressman Hutchinson thinks the principal benefit is that it’s easier to take it away from hardworking Arkansas families than traditional Medicaid. How out of touch can you be?

Of course, there's a whole lot more at stake if Arkansas doesn't continue to participate in the expanded Medicaid funding provided by the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. It will blow a hole in the state budget because of extra money the state is already putting to good use and the loss of savings from moving people off traditional Medicaid. Throwing people back into exposure to medical bankruptcies, untreated illness and other devastation would only be a part of the story about what Hutchinson sees as a  "simple process." Particularly after his promised wacky income tax cuts, with sharp cliffs in benefits at each incremental step of the tax.

Obamacare in Arkansas is saving lives, by the way. Real people. With real benefits. See David Ramsey's cover story this week.

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