Gov. Asa Hutchinson was among the many governor’s happy at the fiasco — the failure of President Trump to even vote, much less win House passage of legislation to repeal Obamacare.

The bill would have been devastating to the state. Hutchinson had written to oppose the legislation. He, of course, is a Republican and mouths the required words “repeal and replace Obamacare” But his replacement ideas are broadly general — about “flexibility” for the states and “resources necessary to make sure no one is left out.” In other words, don’t cut our federal bucks. It is precisely this desire that produced the right-wing GOP roadblock to Trumpcare passage — punitive as it was on Medicaid recipients, it wasn’t punitive enough.


AP assesses the happy governors here.

Trumpcare would have ended coverage for 24 million or more people by 2026, 14 million in the first year. It would have deprived a huge number of the 300,000 in Arkansas benefitting from the Affordable Care Act. The states, particularly red states like Arkansas, would not have picked up the slack.

The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation found in a study this week that trying to maintain the existing levels of Medicaid coverage would have been costly. It could have taken cuts equal to one-fourth of some state governments’ education budgets to keep the coverage without raising taxes, the report found.

As it is, the Obamacare Medicaid expansion money adds to Hutchinson’s general revenue resources, in addition to being a huge economic stimulus.