Charlie Frago of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette re-emphasized today (pay wall) the huge cost coming if the Arkansas legislature doesn’t close the Medicaid funding gap, most sensibly by availing itself of federal money to expand the program. Frail elderly will lose nursing home care. Nursing homes will have to cut back staff and perhaps close. Families of the frail and ill will be scrambling.
And still ….
And still ….
Faith-based Republicans, massively resisting service to humanity to the very end, insist that there must be another way around covering poor sick people than taking the federal money.
Rep. David Meeks, the Conway propane truck driver who’s emerged as an expert on government funding, surfaces again:
Rep. David Meeks, a Conway Republican, said he isn’t convinced that the cuts are necessary.
Waste can be cut and new sources of money can be found to fix the problem, he predicted.
“There is money out there,” he said.
Put up or shut up.
Identify the waste and the sources of money that will cover the $143 million gap. Blind faith no longer will get it. Gov. Mike Beebe and his administration have made a credible case that, absent the additional federal money, cuts are required and this is the first place to go. Unsupported declarations to the contrary won’t get it anymore.
And again on the so-called pragmatic Republican leadership: John Brummett today indicates (pay wall) that Sen. Michael Lamoureux still seems to think Beebe can talk the Obama administration into releasing Arkansas from the mandates of federal law and be allowed to craft a Medicaid plan acceptable to the Republican majority If he really believes that Obama will view Arkansas as deserving of special consideration, he makes Meeks look like a genius.