Favorite

Missing Vic 

I kept thinking one thing as the U.S. House made history Sunday with its approval of a dramatic expansion of health coverage for all Americans.

We're going to miss U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder.

Alone among our House members (just as he was alone in his vote against George W. Bush's dishonest war), Snyder joined the majority and explained succinctly:

“Middle class Arkansans with insurance will get more control over their health care choices, more power to hold insurance companies accountable for bad policies, and more affordable premiums. Medicare will be protected and improved for our seniors. 32 million Americans and small businesses without insurance will for the first time get the power and ability to get quality health insurance in the marketplace. And just like current federal law no federal money can pay for elective abortions.”

Snyder was a calm voice in the last-minute clamor over abortion. He had voted for the Stupak amendment in the House, but he distributed documentary proof, including independent legal opinion and federal regulations, that the Senate health bill provided an equivalent guarantee against government spending on abortion.

U.S. Reps. Mike Ross and lame duck Marion Berry and, of course Rep. John Boozman of the Party of No, joined Orval Faubus, George Wallace, etc., on the wrong side of history. Ross claimed he listened to his constituents, but independent polling suggests there's broad support for health reform in his poor district, particularly when voters are given an accurate representation of the legislation. Instead, he obeyed the angry minority that has always made him a spear carrier for gun nuts and cranks and an opponent of human rights.

But back to Vic Snyder. The best known candidate in the Democratic primary race to succeed him, Rep. Robbie Wills of Conway, had already said weeks ago that HE would NOT vote for this legislation. He said he wouldn't vote for outright repeal should it pass, however, and was mute Monday morning. There was some comfort that two Democratic contenders, David Boling and Joyce Elliott, volunteered positive remarks about the vote.

The Republican candidates, Scott Wallace and Tim Griffin, couldn't wait to vow to repeal the legislation. They issued statements straight from the GOP Talking Points Factory. But really. Are they right? Do voters really want to repeal:

-Barring insurance companies from excluding people with pre-existing conditions.

-Stopping insurance companies from rescinding coverage.

-Insurance exchanges that expand individual coverage and provide assistance for small businesses.

-Tax credits for more than 36,000 small Arkansas businesses.

-Expanding Medicaid.

-Linking Medicare reimbursement to “quality outcomes.”

-Health coverage for nearly a half-million more Arkansans.

-Closing the “doughnut hole” in seniors' drug coverage — a benefit to nearly 90,000 in Arkansas.

-Free preventive health care.

-Expanding funding for community health centers and rural health care.

-More coverage for kids, including an extension of the time they can stay on parents' health insurance.

It is a sad day when advocating a better society requires courage. It is sadder still to consider where many political candidates — Tim Griffin stands out, but is by no means alone — think political success lies. Their selfishness of spirit; their mistrust of a government that defends us and brings us Social Security and Medicare, and their general meanness repudiate
this country's optimistic and giving history.

Yes, we will miss Vic Snyder.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Along the civil rights trail

    A convergence of events in recent days signaled again how far we have come and how far we have yet to go in civil rights.
    • Jan 18, 2018
  • The Oval outhouse

    One thing all Americans finally can agree upon is that public discourse has coarsened irretrievably in the era of Donald Trump and largely at his instance.
    • Jan 18, 2018

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Newspaper transformation

    Forty-six years ago this week I visited Little Rock in hopes of getting a job at the Arkansas Gazette. Then-Managing Editor Robert Douglas was friendly, but said (with good reason) that I was a little green.
    • Dec 20, 2018
  • Hope and change LR

    While I was away, Frank Scott Jr. won a historic victory in a runoff with Baker Kurrus to succeed Mark Stodola as Little Rock mayor.
    • Dec 13, 2018
  • A real mayor

    Baker Kurrus is trying to brand himself as an agent for change as mayor of Little Rock, but labors under a handicap.
    • Nov 22, 2018
  • More »

Most Viewed

  • Yes, he's a liar. Yes, he's a stooge. But too few care.

    If the recently released Mueller Report proves nothing else, it’s that almost everything Trump derided as “Fake News” regarding his campaign’s conniving with Russian operatives during the 2016 election has proven to be remarkably accurate.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Bernie, the millionaire Socialist

    • love ya, Gene, but the Cold War is over. Young people don't have the same…

    • on April 23, 2019
  • Re: 'Exonerated'

    • Sounds like Webster is giving the definition of the mainstream media.

    • on April 22, 2019
  • Re: Bernie, the millionaire Socialist

    • Sooner or later you will run out of other peoples money

    • on April 22, 2019
 

© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation