Asa continues to evade private option questions | Arkansas Blog

Friday, October 24, 2014

Asa continues to evade private option questions

Posted By on Fri, Oct 24, 2014 at 9:39 AM

click to enlarge 'MEASURED APPROACH': For Asa Hutchinson, that means a dodge on private option.
  • 'MEASURED APPROACH': For Asa Hutchinson, that means a dodge on private option.
David Goins of Channel 4 reports from the campaign trail in Fort Smith with Asa Hutchinson, where a local hospital administrator expressed to Hutchinson his concerns about the continued state funding of the Medicaid expansion under the private option version of Obamacare.

Hutchinson continued to tapdance.

The former congressman also spent approximately 45 minutes at Sparks Regional Medical Center, touring the hospital and meeting with CEO Dan McKay on Arkansas' compromise Medicaid expansion.

"As you look into the future of the private option from your experience are there any changes and adjustments that ought to be made to make it better," Hutchinson asked.

"I worry about the future of it if anything," McKay responded. "It's just the funding. Will the funding be there? What happens if the funding goes away?"

Hutchinson says he's taking a measured approach to the long term viability of the program, which now has more than 200,000 enrolled according the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

His leading opponent, Democrat Mike Ross, has said he is fully supportive of continuing
the private option.

I just don't think there's a middle of the road passage on this issue, just a yellow strip, as a Texas politician once said.

I'm also thinking this: A Republican tidal wave — should it develop — will sweep away Hutchinson's ability to finesse this issue. The legislature could defeat reauthorization of the program. The Ernie Dumas theory is that the program, in a year fully funded by the feds, could survive through legal means. But chaos would ensue in the meanwhile. Hutchinson can't govern effectively without the Obamacare money. Other Republicans have reached that conclusion and said so directly. Someday, Hutchinson will have to stop equivocating. Unless Mike Ross wins. Then he can do whatever.

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