Gov. Mike Beebe wanted Arkansas to run its own health insurance exchange. Republicans would have none of that.
The Beebe administration wants to advertise the new health insurance options. Republicans will have none of that. And David Ramsey has written conclusively about how stupid that decision is.
California set up its own exchange. It’s advertising it heavily. Guess what? Results are excellent.
The state and federal efforts here are yielding results. More than 16,000 applications were completed in the first five days, state officials said, covering more than 29,000 people. An additional 27,000 people have begun filling out applications, numbers that “blew the socks off” initial expectations, said Peter Lee, the executive director of Covered California. While the state initially resisted releasing preliminary numbers, Mr. Lee said officials now planned to provide weekly enrollment updates in an effort to counter the “continued drumbeat of doubters and misinformation.”
“You can’t derail something when it has already left the station,” Mr. Lee said Tuesday in a news conference in the state capital, Sacramento. “We are going very strong.”
Despite concerted efforts by Republicans to make Arkansas’s program fail, the word IS getting out. I ran into Surgeon General Joe Thompson on a walk yesterday afternoon and he said tens of thousands had expressed interest in the poorly advertised Arkansas “private option.”
The pent-up demand — and need — is huge. This is precisely why dead-end Republicans Tom Cotton and Tim Griffin are fighting so hard to kill Obamacare. Ted Cruz is at least honest about it. He knows that once millions of people get a valuable benefit they’ll be unlikely to want to give it up. So their fight continues to let only those with the best economic circumstances have the comfort of a health safety net.