Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin has been squirrelly on the question of his position on “Arkansas Works,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson‘s plan to continue the private option Medicaid expansion. And as far as I can tell from his latest statement, he’s still hedging. (While still a congressman, Griffin expressed some opposition to the private option.)
Griffin’s unknown position was brought up by the Legislative Black Caucus today, which asked the governor what would happen if Hutchinson died before issuing a line item veto as part of his plan to continue the Medicaid expansion (Hutchinson said he planned on staying alive).
Drew Petrimoulx of KARK got this statement from Griffin: “The Governor is in excellent health, and I am not going to engage in hypotheticals that assume the opposite.”
Okay, but what about his position on “Arkansas Works”? Even aside from morbid scenarios or unlikely shenanigans while Hutchinson is out of town, inquiring minds want to know! The rumor mill at the Capitol is churning on the notion that this would be a good wedge issue for Griffin if he wanted to raise a primary challenge to Hutchinson in 2018. (And Griffin has been seen skulking around the Capitol with Americans for Prosperity bigwig Teresa Oelke; AFP is one of the most prominent advocacy groups fighting against “Arkansas Works”).
Petrimoulx asked about “Arkansas Works” and got this statement from Griffin:
On the subject of “Arkansas Works,” Griffin told Petrimoulx that he won’t comment on “what ifs.” Well, okay. This looks like the sort of gobbledygook that Tom Cotton (and sometimes Asa Hutchinson himself) offered on the campaign trail in 2014. Hedge, duck, bob, weave. Does Tim Griffin support the legislature passing and funding “Arkansas Works”? He won’t say. He has concerns. And Obamacare bad, natch.
Oelke thanked him for his statement so maybe AFP likes what they’re reading between the lines.
Support for special health care reporting made possible by the Arkansas Public Policy Panel.