The Insurance Department appropriation was defeated in the House today. It was approved 53-41, with 75 votes needed. It ran into trouble because it’s the agency that will set up health insurance exchanges under federal health reform legislation. Haven’t seen roll call yet, but I presume it’s close to strict party line, with Republicans voting to shut down an agency of state government rather than let it plan to implement federal law. As I’ve mentioned before, Republican redoubts from Indiana to Utah have proceeded with this planning, but the Tea Party in Arkansas would rather the Obama administration run our health programs.

Will Republicans shut an agency down? We’ll see.

UPDATE: Roby Brock lists all the other things that will come to a halt if Republcian obstructionists kill the Insurance Department in favor of letting President Obama run health care in Arkansas.