In a sane world, consensus would be a 70 percent vote in the House and a 77 percent vote in the Senate, which is the minimum level of support that the private option expansion plan for Medicaid already enjoys. And I’m reasonably confident that House Speaker Davy Carter is correct when he says the House will produce the needed 75 votes before the week is over.
Nonetheless, the Tea Party dead-enders haven’t given up. An announcement from the Senate information office:
House and Senate members who oppose the private option method of expanding Medicaid will hold a press conference at noon today (Wednesday, February 19) in the Old Supreme Court Room on the second floor of the state Capitol, to propose their alternative health care plan.
It is 1) A non-starter; 2) campaign rhetoric; 3) a solid measurement of a narrow minority’s concern for the working poor of Arkansas.
I had to grab a fuzzy photo from a livestream of the event. It is a poster shot for rabid minority rule.
UPDATE: It’s another phase-out proposal, beginning with a cap on enrollment as of June 30, a plea for more time to debate, filibuster and kill. Rep. Bob Ballinger conceded his plan couldn’t pass. “Let’s all come together,” he said. Deafening silence in response. Jim Hendren’s idea of compassion is to guarantee that nobody would be thrown off insurance until at least January 2015. What a guy. He wants more study of impact, see, and hopes teabaggers will sweep elections in November, too.