Favorite

Answering to Arkansas 

Last month, I joined my Democratic colleagues at the White House to witness the President sign health insurance reform into law. The President said, “The bill I'm signing will set in motion reforms that generations of Americans have fought for and marched for and hungered to see.” It was a great day for Arkansas. For me personally, it marked the end of a two-year debate and was the high point of a public career spent trying to reform health care.

Since that time, my Republican opponents and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have worked overtime churning
out press releases calling me an “enemy of the people” and a “traitor to the Constitution” because of my support for health care reform.

At the same time, my primary opponent and one of his chief sponsors, MoveOn.org, have been spewing e-mails and phone calls to Arkansas Democrats calling me “shameful” and saying that I tried to kill health insurance reform.

You would have to rewrite history to prove that I opposed health insurance reform. President Obama wholeheartedly endorsed it and I voted for it last year. I have the battle scars to prove it.

I am proud of my work and have had enough of outside groups trying to tell Arkansans what we should think.

Throughout my public service, I have fought for health insurance reform that helps Arkansas's small businesses, working families and children.

I helped shape the Senate health care plan that became law so that it directly benefits a small, rural state like Arkansas.
Eight Arkansas hospitals will be protected from Medicare reimbursement cuts because of the amendment I successfully included.

The new law makes 50,000 Arkansas small businesses with 260,000 employees eligible for a tax credit I wrote when they purchase coverage for their workers. I believe employers should be able to invest in their own companies rather than continue to pay annual premium increases to insurance companies.

Immediately, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage for a pre-existing condition to 710,000 Arkansas children. Arkansans will no longer be dropped by their insurance companies should they become sick.

More than 260,000 young adults in Arkansas can remain on their parents' health insurance plans for two additional years, until they are 26.

Arkansas's 500,000 seniors are assured that any savings that come from Medicare will not result in reductions to their guaranteed Medicare benefits, and many will see savings from our work reducing the doughnut hole.

Those who say we can't afford the new law should know it will reduce the deficit by $1.4 trillion over the next 20 years, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

We can haggle about the changes to the new law that were approved by the House and Senate in a process called Budget Reconciliation, but Senator Mark Pryor and I opposed those changes for very good reasons.

It doesn't detract from my commitment, or Senator Pryor's, to ensure that implementation of the new law helps Arkansas.
After all, it is Arkansans that I answer to, not any of these outside groups who misrepresent my record on health care reform.

Max Brantley invited the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate to contribute columns on subjects of their choice while he's on vacation. Lt. Gov. Bill Halter wrote last week.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln

  • Answering to Arkansas

    You would have to rewrite history to prove that I opposed health insurance reform. President Obama wholeheartedly endorsed it and I voted for it last year. I have the battle scars to prove it.
    • Apr 15, 2010
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Neighborliness, in Little Rock and beyond

    I had a parochial topic in mind this week — a surprise plan by Mayor Mark Stodola to address the Arkansas Arts Center's many needs.
    • Nov 19, 2015
  • Bootstraps for me, not thee

    Mean spirit, hypocrisy and misinformation abound among the rump minority threatening to wreck state government rather than allow passage of the state Medicaid appropriation if it continues to include the Obamacare-funded expansion of health insurance coverage for working poor.
    • Apr 14, 2016
  • Trump: The Obama of 2016?

    Conner Eldridge, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, launched an assault on Boozman Monday morning rich with irony and opportunity.
    • May 5, 2016

Most Shared

  • Conspiracy theorists

    Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote.
  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
  • Real reform

    Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws.
  • That modern mercantile: The bARn

    The bARn Mercantile — "the general store for the not so general," its slogan says — will open in the space formerly occupied by Ten Thousand Villages at 301A President Clinton Ave.

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
    • May 25, 2017
  • You want tort reform? Try this.

    The nursing home industry and the chamber of commerce finally defeated the trial lawyers in the 2017 legislature. The Republican-dominated body approved a constitutional amendment for voters in 2018 that they'll depict as close to motherhood in goodness.
    • May 18, 2017
  • French Hill's photo op

    The U.S. House of Representatives last week passed a health care bill that only the blind, dumb or dishonest could call good for any but the wealthy. For its many flaws, it has been hailed as a ticket to congressional gains for the Democratic Party.
    • May 11, 2017
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Event Calendar

« »

May

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Not leaders

    As soon as I saw the Notre Dame graduates walking out of their own commencement ceremony as Vice President Mike Pence began to speak, I thought, "Oh no, here we go again."

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Conspiracy theorists

    • .... and having a beer with Gene Lyons, who gave the cutest clumsy curtsy before…

    • on May 27, 2017
  • Re: Conspiracy theorists

    • Are you saying Karl Marx has left the building? The New York Times denies it…

    • on May 27, 2017
  • Re: Conspiracy theorists

    • Yes, Lyon's thinks it is Fox Network that promotes the lies that the West has…

    • on May 26, 2017
 

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