by Max Brantley
The Democrat-Gazette reported today that the Medicaid hit forecast in 2011 by Gov. Mike Beebe isn't going to happen.
Beebe spokeman Matt DeCample advises me that my initial linkage of this news with prospects for impact of national health legislation is in error. The 2011 Medicaid problem was separate from future demands on the state arising from health legislation, which Beebe said he would have opposed on account of cost.
I wish it was ready to run today (it will be next week's cover story), but as I mentioned earlier, veteran reporter Ernest Dumas has compiled a massive rundown of the impact of national health legislation in Arkansas. The article explains how the Medicaid problem has been solved for years to come. Moreover, anyone who reads it will no longer argue — credibly, anyway — about the positive benefits of this legislation. It will mean billions in federal spending — here, a massive stimulus. It will take the pressure off small hospitals. It will insure hundreds of thousands of uninsured. It will reduce insurance costs for many more. And on and on.
It might even be that people are starting to understand that the orchestrated chorus of opposition is misleading, if not downright dishonest.