Friday, February 21, 2014

Arkansas Republicans Show Their Dislike of Health Care Act by Denying Health Care to 87,000 Low Income Citizens

While Maintaining State Paid for Health Care for Republican Legislators

Arkansas is a conservative state and it is also a state with a lot of relatively low income individuals.  So the fact that the federal government would pay for expansion of Medicaid and provide health care/insurance for thousands should have been welcome news.  But Republicans blocked that so the state sought and won approval to use the expansion funds to pay for insurance for those individuals in the private health care insurance market.

Not so fast. 

The Arkansas House failed Tuesday to renew the state’s compromise Medicaid expansion plan, leaving in limbo a program heralded as a model for Republican-leaning states to implement the federal health overhaul. The 100-member chamber fell five votes short of the 75 needed to reauthorize the “private option,” in which the state is using federal Medicaid funds to buy private insurance for 87,000 low-income residents. The program was approved last year as an alternative to expanding Medicaid enrollment under the federal health law. 

Here is the rationale of Republicans who are stopping this.

Majority Leader Bruce Westerman, however, said the vote would allow the state to show its opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

Bruce could not be reached for further comment because he was busy utilizing his state supported health care.

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