Favorite

Hutchinson pulls Faubus move 

I don't know what if anything might arise or be planned in the future relative to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's order to end Medicaid reimbursement for medical services (not abortion) provided by Planned Parenthood in Arkansas. But some observations:

Note that I didn't say end state "funding." This suggests discretionary financial support, which payments to Planned Parenthood are not. They are reimbursement for medical services (not abortion), mostly funded by federal tax dollars, which Arkansas is sent well in excess of our contribution to the federal treasury.

Hutchinson has taken up the interposition posture of Orval Faubus. Courts and federal Medicaid rules be damned — this is one area of medical practice in which a woman will NOT be able to choose from all willing providers.

You could say the governor merely reacted politically to serve the fringe in his party. But that gives him more credit than he is due here. He's acting on his own faith and imposing it on others who don't share it and claiming he speaks for all of our values in doing so. It's patronizing as well as inaccurate. The governor is using the tools of the state to punish those with different political and religious viewpoints.

It is an offense to the First Amendment — government action to harm an agency and clients who have done nothing wrong. The problem is that the agency, in addition to numerous important health services, provides a legal medical service — abortion — that is at variance with the governor's religion. When it does so — with a drug used only in the first eight to nine weeks of pregnancy, the state does not pay. Even the limited engagement by Planned Parenthood elsewhere (it does not do so in Arkansas) in providing fetal material for research is legal. Selling it is not. As yet, no proof has emerged of illegal transactions.

So, again: The governor has proposed to end a legal contract for legal services with a health provider guilty in Arkansas of engaging in a legal practice of which the ruling party disapproves. He has done so with disregard to due process and evidence, acting only on the edited representations of an anti-abortion group. (They are, again, irrelevant to Planned Parenthood medical services in Arkansas — cancer and sexual disease screening, contraception.)

If Arkansas values really are at issue here, let's consider a case in which we know a state actor did something that now is a bright-letter violation of Arkansas law and yet he continues to receive state funding. I refer to Rep. Justin Harris, whose religious-oriented preschool in West Fork has received millions of dollars in state funding, despite a variety of practices that appear to run counter to constitutional guidelines. But there are no appearances to discuss in the case of his throwaway children, adopted and then put into the home of a child molester. That is fact, an episode so shocking the legislature moved swiftly to outlaw the practice in which he engaged. Are throwaway children an Arkansas value? Should those who engage in it — and other questionable child-rearing practices, based on multiple accounts — be rewarded by continuing government support?

Gov. Hutchinson, if you believe in Arkansas values, as expressed in recent legislation, you'd end government funding for Growing God's Kingdom, the Harris family religious-oriented pre-school.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • 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
  • Double-talk

    A couple of instances of doublespeak cropped up in Little Rock over the weekend.
    • Jun 29, 2017

Most Shared

  • 'Cemetery angel' Ruth Coker Burks featured in new short film

    Ruth Coker Burks, the AIDS caregiver and activist memorably profiled by David Koon as the cemetery angel in Arkansas Times in 2015, is now the subject of a short film made by actress Rose McGowan.
  • Buyer remorse

    Out here in flyover country, you can't hardly go by the feed store without running into a reporter doing one of those Wisdom of the Heartland stories.
  • Not Whitewater

    Just think: If Democrats had turned out 78,000 more votes in three states in November, people could be reveling today in the prospect of impeaching and convicting President Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, as some Republican lawmakers had promised to try to do if she won.
  • Head-shaking

    Another edition of so-much-bad-news-so-little space.

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Head-shaking

    Another edition of so-much-bad-news-so-little space.
    • Jul 27, 2017
  • 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.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • We're No. 1! in vote suppression

    It's not often that Arkansas can claim national leadership, so give Secretary of State Mark Martin credit for something.

    • Jul 13, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

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

  • Narrow opening for Arkansas Democrats

    "Somebody in this room — it's time to go big or go home." At the Democratic Party of Arkansas's Clinton Dinner last weekend, Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana used his platform as keynote speaker to embolden a candidate to step up to run for governor against incumbent Republican Governor Hutchinson.
  • Not Whitewater

    Just think: If Democrats had turned out 78,000 more votes in three states in November, people could be reveling today in the prospect of impeaching and convicting President Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, as some Republican lawmakers had promised to try to do if she won.
  • Buyer remorse

    Out here in flyover country, you can't hardly go by the feed store without running into a reporter doing one of those Wisdom of the Heartland stories.
  • Head-shaking

    Another edition of so-much-bad-news-so-little space.

Most Recent Comments

 

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