Easy call 

Expansion of Medicaid — that is, providing better health care for more poor people — is exactly the sort of thing that Winthrop Rockefeller espoused in the late 1960s, when he was Arkansas's first Republican governor since Reconstruction. Today's Republican majority in the state legislature is cool to such generosity if not coldly resistant. In the case of the Arkansas Republican Party, bigger is definitely not better.

Probably the kindest thing one can say about the Republicans opposed to Medicaid expansion is that they are not just being cruel because they hate poor people. No, they hate the Democratic president who won passage of the Affordable Care Act too. And he's not poor. Give them that.

Gov. Mike Beebe is leading the effort to extend Medicaid to over 200,000 low-income Arkansans. He'll need all his powers of persuasion, which are considerable.

Expansion of Medicaid will, Beebe has pointed out, provide health care to people not covered elsewhere in the law, reduce uncompensated care, and protect hospitals that will experience cuts to Medicare reimbursement rates whether or not Arkansas chooses to expand Medicare. And all this will be accomplished with federal, not state, money. The federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost of new enrollees until 2017. Then the state's share will gradually increase to 10 percent by 2020.

Beebe told the legislature last week, "Without help, some of our hospitals in Arkansas, particularly rural hospitals, could be forced to close. This would be devastating to our small towns ... Expanding Medicaid will create additional private-sector jobs. We just have to say yes."

For well-intentioned legislators, that should not be difficult.


From the ArkTimes store

Speaking of Medicaid Expansion


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Most Shared

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


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

  • The casting couch

    Long ago and far away, I had an academic superior who enjoyed sexually humiliating younger men. There was unwanted touching — always in social situations — but mainly it was about making suggestive remarks, hinting that being a "hunk" was how I'd got hired.
  • Cotton to CIA?

    Political junkies without a real election to overanalyze fill the void with "what if?" scenarios. With the State Fair underway, consider this column a helping of cotton candy for such readers.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The casting couch

    • sigh............ I would argue that the idea of 'freedom from fear' is part of the…

    • on October 19, 2017
  • Re: Caution: government at work

    • As to the AR Chamber of Commerce-DO NOT FORGET it supports passage of SJR8, which…

    • on October 19, 2017
  • Re: The casting couch

    • Freedom from fear is a human right.

    • on October 19, 2017

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