The strangulation of Obamacare | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The strangulation of Obamacare

Posted By on Tue, Jun 20, 2017 at 7:32 AM


Gov. Asa Hutchinson's
effort to triangulate health care is better viewed as a slow strangulation, as illustrated today by health industry comments on his plan to curb the Arkansas Medicaid expansion.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today reported on the outpouring of criticism from health groups on the Hutchinson plan to have only the poorest qualify for Medicaid expansion and to add work requirements and costs that will drive still more out of coverage. The groups illustrate that the promise of federal tax credits in the subsidized marketplace will somehow be an equal substitute is a sham.

The critics won't deter Hutchinson, the Republican legislature or the Trump administration agency that will approve any suggestions to restrict benefits for poor people, even working poor. Hutchinson is trying to hang onto the boon of federal money while also serving the Republican desire to punish the poor. So he'll keep Medicaid expansion money (a tremendous aid to his tax-cutting) while showing he can be heartless, too.

Bottom line: Tens of thousands fewer people will be covered. Hospitals will again experience huge and possibly calamitous unreimbursed expenses. Insurance premiums will rise. Sick people, unable to work, will die. This also seems likely to begin a downward spiral. If the state continues to insist on cost-cutting, still more ways to restrict the poor will be devised, with an increase in the same consequences.

Hutchinson will be re-elected governor in 2018 before the first canaries in this toxic coal mine of health care die. And the reductions will come gradually, first to the most disenfranchised, an invisible group without credit card-toting lobbyists to plead their case.

To coin a phrase: Sad!

What will be sadder still is if the secret health care bill being drafted in the U.S. Senate is jammed into law without debate and produces an even bigger reduction in the money Arkansas has on hand.

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (22)

Showing 1-22 of 22

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-22 of 22

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

Most Viewed

  • Arkansas-linked Charlottesville marcher identified, apologizes to those misidentified

    A man who says he's a former University of Arkansas student now living in New England has identified himself as the person wearing an "Arkansas Engineering" T-shirt in the Friday white supremacist march in Fayetteville. He apologized for involving UA in the story and to the professor misidentified as being the person wearing the shirt.
  • Hot Springs threatens closure of Arlington Hotel unless repairs made

    The Hot Springs Sentinel-Record reports that the city of Hot Springs has notified owners of the Arlington Hotel that it must make repairs to address safety concerns by Nov. 8 or the historic hotel must close.
  • The Civil War, contd. Statues a diversionary move

    Donald Trump clearly believes that he can fight and win a political war over his sympathy for white supremacists making it about statutes of Robert E. Lee and preservation of history (as if books don't exist.)
  • Solutions to violence in Little Rock

    KARK/Fox 16 continues its focus on crime in Little Rock and solutions, including a national Ceasefire program that is the model for some new crime-fighting ideas announced recently by Mayor Mark Stodola.

Most Recent Comments



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