by Max Brantley
A legislative committee apparently signed off this morning on an $18 million federal grant to implement health care exchanges in Arkansas under the federal Affordable Care Act. Most of the noise on Twitter so far is from Republicans furious that they weren't allowed a debate first. They don't really mean debate. They just mean they wanted a platform to repeat everything they've been saying for what now seems like an eon. A media show, in other words.
One Republican, the occasionally sane Les Carnine of Rogers
Bentonville, joined an otherwise party line vote against the debate. The Tea Party is P.O.'ed.
This is only the latest installment of Political Party Gone Wild. The health care exchanges are the law. They are going to happen. Federal money is available to ease the implementation. Arkansas gains exactly nothing by doing a George Wallace massive resistance on health care reform (except harming sick working poor people, to the extent they succeed in slowing benefits). A strong contingent of Republicans clearly doesn't see it that way. They have thrown in with the organized national movement to resist every step.
UPDATE: A correspondent (and D-G) say Carnine is saying his vote with Dems was a mistake. Whoopsy. Like I said, occasionally sane.
ALSO: Here's a report on meeting from Channel 7.