A gang of anti-private option legislators journeyed to Baxter County yesterday to endorse Scott Flippo in the Republican runoff for state Senate. His opponent is Rep. John Burris, an architect of the Medicaid expansion with Obamacare money.
The names in the group backing Flippo, in person yesterday and otherwise, should say it all: Sens. Cecile Bledsoe, Alan Clark, John Cooper, Bryan King, Gary Stubblefield and Reps. Terry Rice, Bob Ballinger, Charlotte Douglas, Charlene Fite, Joe Farre, John Payton and Josh Miller.
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If this rump group of dead-enders can use a constitutional oddity to block continuation of the program next year, I predict it will be only temporary. The outcry of hundreds of thousands of people thrown off insurance, the calamity for health care providers and the devastation to the state budget will demand a response. One might be legal, with a settling at last of the question of whether a vote is even necessary to spend the Medicaid money in Arkansas (it’s all federal dollars for now) and whether a 75 percent vote is required if such an appropriation is necessary. The issue is unsettled legally though well-established in practice.
Irony alert: The same group hoping to assemble 26 percent opposition to stop hundreds of millions of health care dollars for the people of Arkansas are among the legislators who say it’s dang near impeachable for a judge to issue a ruling that defies the will of the majority. Just like they propose to do with their rump grump of reactionary legislators in killing health care expansion in Arkansas.
Not to worry, however. Rep. Nate Bell has promised to go to the district to campaign for John Burris. It’s a Nixon to China moment, because, see Nate swears he’s going to fight to kill Obamacare.