Question for Gov. Beebe | Arkansas Blog

Question for Gov. Beebe

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Yo, reporters. When the governor and the mayor check in from their European Vacation by phone this morning, somebody might want to ask Gov. Mike Beebe why he wouldn't sign this letter that most Democratic governors signed in support of health care legislation.

(Maybe it's because he's on the ballot next year and he is imbued with the fortitude of his Democratic running dogs, Blanche Lincoln and Mike Ross?)

It gives a sense of how tough the health care battle is that Democrats could only get 22 of the 28 governors from their own party to sign a letter to Congressional leaders urging they pass a bill this year.

It's a standard letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Boehner, telling them states "will only achieve the health care security and stability they need if we succeed in working together with the Congress and the President to achieve health care reform."

But missing from the signatures at the bottom are six governors: Mike Beebe (AR), Jay Nixon (MO), Bev Perdue (NC), John Lynch (NH), Dave Freudenthal (WY) and Brad Henry (OK).

The letter, circulated by Reid's office and the Democratic Governors Association late Friday, is by no stretch of the imagination controversial.

"The status quo is no longer an option and we support getting health reform done this year," the letter reads, making no mention of the public option or anything else that might rattle politicians.

UPDATE: The governor's spokesman, Matt DeCample, said Beebe had said everything contained in the letter "and more." This  letter wasn't on the governor's radar, DeCample indicated, precisely because it didn't say much. He said the governor's concerns about Medicaid funding, among others, remain and the governor has and will contine to make his wishes known.

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