As expected, the Arkansas House of Representatives met briefly today to consider several amendments and then adjourned for the day without taking up the Human Services appropriation bill that includes continuation of the so-called private option expansion of Medicaid made possible by Obamacare. Most expect a vote tomorrow.
The primary subject of talks leading to possible passage — 75 votes are needed and only 73 have been mustered so far — has concerned a limited enrollment period for the private. Those eligible could still get regular Medicaid if they missed a year’s deadline.
UPDATE: Uncertainty reigns. House Speaker Davy Carter is confident. The governor reportedly is confident. But who will switch and why? The problem is that the hard-core opponents don’t understand the issue or don’t want to understand the issue, they just want to vote no on anything infected by Obama. I still like Kim Hammer as a potential crossover, with hospital ties and with his quote this morning about the wisdom of the imited private option enrollment period. (Actually meaningless and only a tool to push people to the regular Medicaid program that the private option was supposed to better.)
I sense on the part of some Democrats a willingness to see the vote fail and push the issue to an 11th hour special session on the state budget. The holdouts — crippling state government against a massive majority — might then recognize politics are not on their side. Unless voters tell them otherwise. And since this is now becoming Oklahomastan or Alabamastan, who knows?