Kind of a slow day. Finishing up:
* CONSOLATION PRIZE: The Daily Show (video above) does a comic take on which state will be last to accept marriage equality. Believe it or not, they pitched the battle between Mississippi and Alabama, not Arkansas. We’re in the hunt, I’d say.
* THE HARANGUE CONTINUES: Republican legislators gave the state Insurance Department fits today in keeping with the general Obamacare roust. I don’t understand, though, how the state can be faulted for a state website that legislators won’t provide money to update. Or how lawmakers can complain bitterly about slow signups when they also won’t pay to get word out about the program and how to sign up. We should have had our own exchange as Gov. Mike Beebe wanted. I’ll be darned if I get why a majority of Republicans voted to expand Medicaid under Obamacare but won’t provide all the tools necessary to complete the job. Why not just do a Texas and be done with it?
There was good news on the insurance front, however. Blue Cross, the major provider of health insurance in the state, says it won’t cancel policies on Jan. 1, as has happened in other states, for policies purchased after Obamacare took effect March 23. This follows a directive from Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford to continue coverage under policies not grandfathered under Obamacare rules through the end of 2014. Stephens Media reports.
* DEMAGOGUERY RUNS RAMPANT: Extremist Republican Rep. Tom Cotton joined a bit of meaningless showboating, introduction of a bill that can’t pass that would require insurance companies not to cancel current policyholders who didn’t want to change to Obamacare coverage.(Moot point in Arkansas, as previous item notes.) A Republican would DICTATE to insurance companies who they must cover? Regardless of their medical condition? This is conservatism? No, it’s just rank demagoguery.
* RANDEEP MANN REACHES END OF LEGAL LINE: The U.S. Supreme Court this week without comment refused to hear an appeal of the conviction of Randeep Mann, the physician convicted of plotting a bombing of the chairman of the state Medical Board.
* PSST. TELL A REPUBLICAN: The federal budget deficit continues to shrink. Smallest since 2008. Not that facts matter.
* DEVELOPER STEVE CLARY GETS 30 MONTHS IN PRISON: Arkansas Business reports on the sentencing of Steve Clary, a developer who pleaded to a mail fraud charge in misusing $1.6 million of a $4.5 million loan he received from Bank America leasing. He was also ordered to make restitution. He filed a $168 million bankruptcy, but obligations reportedly have been reduced to $50 million.