Boozman: No qualms about tossing people off health insurance | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Boozman: No qualms about tossing people off health insurance

Posted By on Wed, Dec 2, 2015 at 10:54 AM

Politico writes that the Democratic Party hopes to defeat some sitting Republicans by hitting them on opposition to elements of the Affordable Care Act that have put hundreds of thousands of people on health coverage, including a quarter-million in Arkansas.

The article mentions Democrat Conner Eldridge's challenge of incumbent Republican Sen. John Boozman, a reliable voice against Obamacare. Eldridge has said he'd like to approve the health care legislation, but wouldn't vote to repeal it.

Republicans, under the budget reconciliation process, could kill the Medicaid expansion with 51 votes.

And it just so happens that some of the most vulnerable Republicans up for reelection next year are from states that have expanded Medicaid and extended health care benefits to thousands of their constituents.

Democrats see a campaign ad that writes itself: Sen. X voted just last year to take away health insurance from tens of thousands of constituents.

Repeal of the expansion would, for example, throw a quarter of a million Arkansas people off private option health insurance and create havoc for Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson's budget. Without the billions flowing from the Medicaid expansion, he'll be hard-pressed to maintain existing services, much less add a highway construction plan at no cost to taxpayers. The Arkansas angle (with emphasis supplied):

Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) has drawn a strong general election challenger in Conner Eldridge but said he has no qualms about voting to eventually cast off tens of thousands of Arkansans Medicaid rolls, citing the transition period and constituent sentiment on the campaign trail: “It’ll be an issue in the sense that the people of Arkansas very much oppose Obamacare.”

Boozman, of course, may be right. Poor folks don't vote, a number of studies have shown. At least not proportionate to their numbers. And some don't seem to know they are voting against their interest when they vote for Obamacare opponents.

Proof? See that poll done by the group hoping to devise a highway construction program. It showed voters valued highway funding more than health care.

Everybody talks about what a nice guy John Boozman is. No qualms about throwing people off health insurance is nice?

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