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Legislative preview underway

Posted by Max Brantley on Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 12:44 PM

I hope to have a report before long on the legislative preview underway at the Capitol. Above you see the Republican leaders of the respective chambers, House Speaker Davy Carter (left) and Senate president pro tem Michael Lamoureux. Gov. Mike Beebe is due shortly.

Surprise: Carter and Lamoureux are in no rush to act on Medicaid expansion.

UPDATE ... perchance to dream. Twitter from Lance Turner:

Davy Carter, Medicaid: “The goal ought to be to reduce that number…” on Medicaid and grow per capita income

Nice line. But dodges the question. In the meanwhile, do we cover 215,000 working poor in need or do we not?

Lamoureux and Carter wrap up by saying cuts in the existing Medicaid program can be avoided with surplus money (and presumably a magical production of some other as yet unspecified cuts in existing spending.) More rain on this Republican parade: That is one-time money, doesn't fix the immediate program for the long-term and also dodges the question about whether Arkansas will help more of its people or not by taking an expanded Medicaid program.

When Beebe took center stage, he opened by making nice to Speaker Carter, again saying he reminded Beebe of himself. (You can be sure there is no higher praise.)

I hope somebody asks Carter if he's running for governor in 2014. Because Beebe had been running since about, what, '82?

Here's Roby Brock's report. Lamoureux and Carter keep talking about math and then they keep engaging in voodoo arithmetic. Co-pays and drug testing won't close $100 million gaps in funding. Expecting the federal government to allow Arkansas, of all places, to provide less than the Medicaid law provides and still get money seems like a legal pipe dream. It still sounds like George Wallace in a Brooks Brothers suit and a cultured accent to me.

Beebe said he's willing to work with Republicans on Medicaid solutions, including pitch alternatives to the feds. But he says the state will pay for Medicaid expansion regardless. Meaning our taxes will help pay for New York and California, but not Arkansas. Beebe also was cool to the coming bill to raise the state minimum wage. Beebe didn't get where he is today without keeping the chamber of commerce uppermost in his thoughts.

BEFORE THE STORM: A cordial day pre-session with leaders Carter (left), Lamoureux and Beebe.
  • BEFORE THE STORM: A cordial day pre-session with leaders Carter (center), Lamoureux and Beebe.

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Does Lance Turner have any idea how much the state would have to "grow per capita income" for people to afford their own health care? It won't happen in my lifetime, nor the lifetimes of citizens much younger than I.

How many people will die per year according to that Harvard study that the Texas Monthly wrote about? From that study, you can extrapolate 1000 annual deaths in Arkansas due to lack of medical care.

There will be blood on their hands. May their dreams be haunted by the ghosts of dead Arkansans.

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Posted by the outlier on 01/07/2013 at 2:36 PM

"It still sounds like George Wallace in a Brooks Brothers suit and a cultured accent." You rock, Roby!

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Posted by PVNasby on 01/07/2013 at 3:46 PM

Oh boy, sounds like we are going to be privileged to witness an equation I'd rather forget.

Ignorance coupled with ideology = whatever is not good for the citizens of Arkansas

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Posted by mrprincipal07 on 01/07/2013 at 5:23 PM

MAX!!!! Why didn't you let us know Clay Aiken was in town!? OMG, OMG, OMG!!!!

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Posted by munkle on 01/07/2013 at 6:23 PM

The State of Arkansas has a coalition government for the Generalstaatsverordnetenversammlungen. We are in uncharted waters here.

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Posted by radical centrist on 01/07/2013 at 9:21 PM
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