Democrats fault Hutchinson's Medicaid moves | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Democrats fault Hutchinson's Medicaid moves

Posted By on Tue, May 2, 2017 at 6:55 AM

DEMOCRAT ON BOARD: Sen. Eddie Cheatham joined in support of Medicaid changes.
  • DEMOCRAT ON BOARD: Sen. Eddie Cheatham joined in support of Medicaid changes.
The Arkansas Democratic Party, a tiny minority in the legislature these days, issued a statement yesterday critical of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's proposed changes in the Medicaid expansion financed by Obamacare.

Hutchinson's key proposals cleared committee on the opening day of what is expected to be a mostly cut-and-dried session. He would allow only those who make 100 percent of the federal poverty level or less, rather than 138 percent, eligible for Medicaid coverage and he'd add a work requirement and premiums to those who remain covered. The moves will dramatically reduce the number of people covered. At least 60,000 won't meet the income requirement. Other changes could discourage others. That will reduce the state's cost sharing, eventually about 10 percent of the program.

The Democratic Party called the changes "regressive" and "detrimental to working Arkansans."

From DPA Chairman Michael John Gray:

“This is purely a political move. This doesn’t seem like a move based on fiscal policy. This is playing to the base and it’s hurting working Arkansans in the process. The Governor is telling any Arkansan who aspires to make more than $12,060 a year that they are on their own. He’s telling every hospital, that is just now beginning to rein in costs of uncompensated care, here’s another roadblock. For every health insurer, who wants to enter the Arkansas marketplace, here is one more market disruption.”

From State Senator Joyce Elliott:

“My fundamental issue with this process is that once again we are playing hurry-up government with issues that are absolutely critical to the people of Arkansas. The Governor’s plan is to kick 60,000 Arkansans off his or her health insurance with no clear plan in place to help them. With no apology, we send 60,000 Arkansans into the wilderness to fend for themselves.”
There'd been some concern  ahead of the vote that a Democrat, Sen. Eddie Cheatham, could present an obstacle in Senate committee to the work requirement. But though he and another Democrat, Sen. Stephanie Flowers, had questions, neither voiced audible opposition when the bill was approved on a voice vote. Cheatham said the bill would save state money and encourage people to work. He said he believed the thrust was "not to kick people off insurance." But of course, that is EXACTLY the thrust — 60,000 worth. The governor says the working poor no longer eligible for coverage will be free to sign up for federal subsidies in the health insurance marketplace.  Substantial questions remain about the continuation of those subsidies and whether they can provide comparable coverage at the same cost to those covered.

Tags: , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Jason Rapert vs. Wikipedia

    Sen. Jason Rapert against the world: Wikipedia edition.
    • Jan 23, 2016
  • Is Arkansas in or out on Kobach voter data effort?

    The Washington Post has published a map that counts Arkansas as among states that will "partially comply" with a sweeping request for voter data by the so-called election integrity commission set up by Donald Trump in an effort to cast doubt on Hillary Clinton's 3 million-vote popular defeat of him in 2016.
    • Jul 2, 2017
  • Charter school accountability: Non-existent in Arkansas

    A state audit finds charter school spending violated state law, but the state Education Department says it has no responsibility for ensuring proper management of charter schools. Say what?
    • Mar 5, 2016

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Another week done

    • Comes in handy, having insiders in all Time Zones. If one's asleep, another's raring to…

    • on July 22, 2017
  • Re: House health care bill preserves members' privileges

    • I read your post and I really like your post.Thank you for sharing this post…

    • on July 22, 2017
  • Re: Another week done

    • I recently watched the HBO series, "The Newsroom" on Amazon Prime (which I highly recommend…

    • on July 22, 2017



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation