Arkansas: 218K AR residents are about to lose their Medicaid. Wonder how many voted Republican?
The Associated Press reported Sunday that newly elected Republican. Gov. Asa Hutchinson is expected to address the program, which uses Medicaid dollars to pay for private coverage, in a speech this week. Arkansas's plan must be re-approved every year.
The program is contending with Hutchinson and a batch of newly elected Republican lawmakers who ran against it. The funding must be approved by three-fourths of the state legislature every year. As TPM previously reported, getting approval in 2014 required a significant amount of horse-trading and deal-making under Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe.
...Even if Hutchinson agrees to keep the so-called private option, he is expected to propose more conservative-minded changes. Senate President Jonathan Dismang told the AP that Medicaid expansion "is not going to exist in its current form."
How many people are we talking about here? Oh, just 218,000 or so.
Arkansas would have to get a waiver from the federal government to change the Medicaid expansion program again, and if it was made much more conservative, it's unlikely to happen. That makes "keeping" the private option but making it too conservative to get administration approval a likelier route for Hutchinson to go. That way he could blame the loss of coverage for hundreds of thousands of people on President Obama. Because of course he would blame it on Obama.
Gee, I wonder how many of those 218,000 Arkansas residents about to lose their Medicaid coverage voted for Gov. Hutchinson, Sen. Tom Cotton and the rest of the Republican candidates. You know, the ones who despise the Affordable Care Act and who, for the most part, were pretty damned open about their desire to wipe out the law which is providing 9% of their entire population with heatlhcare coverage.
Well, with this move the first 7% of them are about to be given the boot.