Gov. Hutchinson's fight for Arkansas-style Obamacare. Update: his task force approves his plan | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Gov. Hutchinson's fight for Arkansas-style Obamacare. Update: his task force approves his plan

Posted By on Wed, Dec 16, 2015 at 9:42 AM

PITCHING FOR OBAMACARE: Gov. Asa Hutchinson talks of his hopes to keep, but alter, the Obamacare Medicaid expansin.
  • PITCHING FOR OBAMACARE: Gov. Asa Hutchinson talks of his hopes to keep, but alter, the Obamacare Medicaid expansin.

David Ramsey will be reporting later on the decision-making today by the legislative health task force. But the Tweets are already coming fast and furious.

Several note Gov. Asa Hutchinson pats himself on the back for sticking with the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, Arkansas-style. He paints himself an outlier, though Republican governors are coming around all over for the obvious reason that they — like Hutchinson — need the federally money. And, incidentally, it helps millions of people.

The governor also continues to talk about making people work for their benefits — a "line in the sand" with feds he can't cross, Ramsey notes.

And this from Sen. Joyce Elliott:

Savings outlined by Gov. : $250M-Long term care; 20M-dental; 110-Pharmacy; 231M-Bhav Health. All numbers over 5 years.

No doubt there's some "fat" in those numbers. Also some real benefits to real people, and not just recipients of care but those who are paid to provide it — nursing homes, dentists, druggists, providers of community-based and residential services for mental health services. Whatever Asacare turns out to be, I hope these effects are specified.

Ramsey has already noted in several posts how the talk of efficiency, accountability and so forth must be weighed against the governor's apparent sellout to the powerful nursing home lobby, awash in profits from past legislative victories. The nursing homes have apparently been removed from falling under the cost-conscious managed care framework to be imposed on other providers. You could argue that long-term care is an area MOST in need of "reform."

UPDATE: Task force endorses Hutchinson's plan. Of course. Ramsey will be coming with details.

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