Morning report: Fatal police shooting, med school dean stepping down; political controversy | Arkansas Blog

Morning report: Fatal police shooting, med school dean stepping down; political controversy

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A roundup from the in-box this morning:

* MURDER SUSPECT KILLED AFTER BRYANT OFFICER SHOT: Channel 4 reports that a man suspected in an Illinois slaying was killed and a Bryant police officer was wounded in a shootout at the Fred's store on HIghway 5 in Bryant about 11 p.m. last night. The unidentified officer was shot in the hand and shoulder and returned fire, Channel 4 reports.

UPDATE: The State Police is investigating the shooting and provides more details here. Officers were responding to a burglary alarm.

DR. DEBRA FISER: Stepping down as med school dean.
  • DR. DEBRA FISER: Stepping down as med school dean.
* UAMS MED SCHOOL DEAN STEPPING DOWN: UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn circulated an e-mail last night that said Dr. Debra Fiser was stepping down after seven years as dean of the College of Medicine effective April 30 to return to the Department of Pediatrics. He praised her work and noted, among others, her establishment of divisions of genetics and biomedical informatics.

* GROWTH PAINS: A widely circulated e-mail indicates in-fighting within the statewide collegiate Republican organization. An e-mail from the chair of the UA chapter raises questions about voting and financial matters of the statewide Republican collegiate organization and an executive committee vote to change the election outcome. You know what they say about the size of the dispute and the size of the stakes in collegiate tussles. Unable to judge the merits at this point, I can say it's a sign of growing strength in an organization to have something to fight over and that some of these students may have demonstrated a political ruthlessness already worthy of their elders in the Arkansas legislature. What was most interesting to me was a pronouncement by a leading Republican media outlet on Twitter last night that he didn't want to be bothered with communications on the subject. Do you think he'd have been interested if he'd received reports on Democratic turmoil, including allegations of vote rigging and financial misdeed? Move along, nothing to see when Republicans engage in skulduggery.

* MEDICAID EXPANSION RESISTANCE: Former Romney adviser Avik Roy, who blogs for Forbes, is getting quoted by Republicans again for writing that Arkansas probably shouldn't take the "Obamacare Medicaid deal." Roy apparently wasn't convinced by David Ramsey's explanation of where his earlier theories on the Arkansas plan had gone awry. He writes of the so-called private option to expand health coverage under Medicaid through privage insurance:

This has appealed to me and others, because the exchanges, for all of their imperfections, would be a substantial improvement to the broken Medicaid program in a market-oriented direction. However, we’ve learned in recent days that what the Obama administration is offering Arkansas is not, in fact, true exchange-based insurance, but rather a kind of private-sector window-dressing upon the Medicaid program.

BEYOND SPIN: Speaker Davy Carter has stopped telling the truth about Medicaid expansion.
  • BEYOND SPIN: Speaker Davy Carter has stopped telling the truth about Medicaid expansion.
* HOUSE SPEAKER DAVY CARTER: WHEN DOES SPIN BECOME A LIE? Please note my quotes on the Romney man's description of the Medicaid expansion plan backed by House Speaker Davy Carter and others as the "Obamacare Medicaid deal." Carter was quoted by Talk Business yesterday as saying in a sharp retort to U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford's opposition to Medicaid expansion in Arkansas:

“The U.S. Congress gave us ObamaCare,” responded Speaker Carter this afternoon. “The Arkansas legislature has led the fight against ObamaCare and turned a losing hand into a winning one. A vote for the private option in Arkansas is a vote against ObamaCare.”

I thought about this carefully overnight and decided that, as well-informed as Davy Carter is there is no way to sugarcoat it. Carter is lying.

Obamacare provided the money for Medicaid expansion. Carter has backed expansion of health coverage through the Medicaid appropriation. The Obama administration provided the tools to do this expansion through the private option that Carter and other leading Republicans favor over expansion of the conventional Medicaid program. The Republicans favor expansion in part because the influx of billlions in federal money will give them resources to cut state income taxes.

Carter can argue that he believes Republicans have contributed to devising a better way to expand Medicaid. But expand Medicaid they indeed propose to do. That is Obamacare. To say it is not is a lie.

Davy Carter backs Obamacare to pay for his tax cuts for millionaires. It's that simple.

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