How Arkansas beat Texas in health care | Arkansas Blog

Monday, December 12, 2016

How Arkansas beat Texas in health care

Posted By on Mon, Dec 12, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Worth reading today is a Houston Chronicle article comparing the well-being of people in Arkansas and Texas thanks to the states' divergent path on adopting the Medicaid expansion enabled by the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

Led by Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe and a portion of the ascendant Republican legislative majority, Arkansas adopted a version of Obamacare that has dramatically increased health coverage for its citizens. Texas refused. The figures tell the story. Check this summary from the Chronicle:

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There's some irony here as all well know. Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, hopes to continue the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, but with new requirements that will, he hopes, reduce state-required matching outlays. By saving money, he means mainly putting cost requirements on the working poor who benefit. That, and even broader changes in the program allowed by Republican control at the national level, could lead to a deterioration of the strong numbers here.

The other big irony is how the Republican Party in Arkansas built its electoral might by running incessantly against the evils of Obamacare, even as it shored up the state budget with federal money that enabled Republican tax cutting. Some of those elected in the Obama-fueled GOP surge are still quite serious about ending the program. So stay tuned

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