Beebe's risk | Arkansas Blog

Beebe's risk

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DeMillo's analysis of Gov. Mike Beebe's plan to raise tobacco taxes to pay for a trauma system, children's health care and Medicaid expansion, is headlined "Beebe takes risk."

The risk, I guess, is that he won't succeed.

The risk is that the tobacco lobby, using anti-tax Republicans as their scouts, will win another legislative battle on behalf of the shrinking minority of people who create huge health costs for themselves and innocent bystanders with their habit.

The risk is that the fund to pay for home health care and nursing home care will shrink.

The risk is that school kids won't receive needed health care and suffer the educational consequences.

The risk is that lives that could be saved by sophisticated trauma teams will be lost.

Yes, these are grave risks.

Politically, I'd not fear much fallout from a resume that said I had risked and lost this fight. Consider: Would you rather be Mike Beebe or a senator carrying the tobacco companies' briefcase as well as a campaign ledger dotted with tobacco contributions?

Risky indeed. 

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