by Max Brantley
Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford and Surgeon General Joe Thompson, among others, tried to explain today to a hospital and Medicaid subcommittee of the Legislative Council the benefits of fully including Arkansas in the benefits of Medicaid expansion and other aspects of the federal Affordable Care Act.
The caterwauling from Republicans and their paid shills started early on Twitter. You know the familiar themes. It's propaganda. It's stealing money from pockets of the Kochs to give it to dirtbag welfare trash. If poor folks want health care, let them inherit money from a family that got rich building federal interstate highways like Paul Ryan did.
Thompson did distribute a useful fact sheet on why Arkansas would benefit inordinately from accepting increased federal support for Medicaid. We're poor. People are uninsured. Medical bankruptcies ravage working — emphasis on WORKING — families. Health insurance, by covering preventive care, saves money. Most small businesses are exempt. Most businesses that are covered already provide health insurance coverage. Roughly one in five in Arkansas can't afford to see a doctor because of cost.
(Note the map that shows that the uninsured coverage is particularly high in counties in the 4th Congressional District, where Republican Tom Cotton is widely considered a favorite to win and add a vote to Paul Ryan's plan to overturn the federal health law and slash the bejeebers out of discretionary spending on health care.)