Compromise on Medicaid expansion? Or not? | Arkansas Blog

Monday, April 18, 2016

Compromise on Medicaid expansion? Or not?

Posted By on Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 4:07 PM

CALL THE ROLL: The governor says he's brought three of the Terrible Ten over to his Medicaid Charade deal. Which ones?
  • CALL THE ROLL: The governor says he's brought three of the Terrible Ten over to his Medicaid Charade deal. Which ones?

UPDATE: See here for some reporting and educated guessing on this from David Ramsey. Looks like last-ditch, doomed effort by the aginners to muck up the works (and grandstand). 

Add this to mix on the progress of the Medicaid expansion legislation, as announced by the Senate information office:
Senators Alan Clark of Lonsdale, Bart Hester of Cave Springs, Terry Rice of Waldron, Scott Flippo of Bull Shoals, Blake Johnson of Corning, Gary Stubblefield of Branch and other members of the Senate and House of representatives who oppose the Arkansas Works expansion of Medicaid will hold a press conference at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 19, in the Old Supreme Court Room of the state Capitol to discuss their proposed compromise.
These are at least six of the 10 Terrible Ten Republicans senators who blocked the Medicaid expansion in the first vote. The plan, called Arkansas Works by the governor, got 70 votes in the House for the framework and several opponents indicated they'd provide the votes to put the actual appropriation over the top for 75 votes in that chamber.

Is this just an agreement to roll over on the Medicaid Charade, with its meaningless repeal of Arkansas Works that will fall to a pre-arranged gubernatorial veto? Or do they expect some other little considerations for being so broad-minded as to keep 267,000 Arkansans on health insurance and keep tens of thousands of others at work? Or are they back to killing Medicaid expansion altogether?

Unnamed in the list at the news conference of the Terrible Ten are Linda Collins-Smith, Bryan King, Cecile Bledsoe and Missy Irvin. Maybe three of that number have provided assurances to the governor of a willingness to go along on the Medicaid Charade. Bledsoe certainly owes some support to the governor, who put her son to work as surgeon general and her husband to work in another health job. The governor needs only two to pass the appropriation. It got a 25-10 vote in the Senate last week, with 27 needed for passage.

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