by Max Brantley
The line is open. Final thoughts:
* SCHOOL LEADER NAMED: Tom Kimbrell, the state Education director, has named Curtis Turner, superintendent at Eureka Springs, to take over leadership of the Mineral Springs School District. The state took control of the district yesterday because of fiscal woes. Turner has a long resume of school work, including in the fiscal distress unit of the state department.
* DECONSTRUCTING TOM COTTON: Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Club for Growth) is right proud of the speech he gave on the floor of the House in support of the 37th or 99th vote by Republicans to repeal Obamacare (that very odious program that Arkansas Republicans just embraced for its money and benefits to Arkies.) It was a bravura performance in fundamental dishonesty, in that he seemd to want to paint the Democrats as Medicare cutters when he's on the fringe of the Paul Ryan Nutpack that would devastate the country's social safety net.
His performance was so galling to one supporter of Obamacare and of the man Cotton seems poised to attack in 2014, Sen. Mark Pryor, that he provided a line-by-line critique of Cotton's remarks. Recommended:
Cotton speech, with response in italics:
"Every time Cato the Elder spoke in the Roman senate he said: ‘Whatever the topic Carthage must be destroyed.' As long as Carthage survived the freedom and prosperity of the Roman people would never be secure. "As then with Carthage, so now with ‘Obamacare': as long as it remains on the books the health, prosperity, and freedom of the American people will never be secure.
Study by Rand Corp commissioned by state says will bring coverage to 400,000 Arkansans, prevent 2,300 deaths, and create 6,200 jobs in Arkansas.
"‘Obamacare' raided $700 billion from Medicare meaning seniors across Arkansas will have their health care rationed as doctors refuse to see any new Medicare patients.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) made certain reductions in provider reimbursements in Medicare. Largely health providers agreed to accept these cuts with the understanding they would be treating fewer uninsured patients. When Tom Cotton voted for the House budget resolution, he also voted in favor of the same $700 billion in Medicare spending reductions included in the ACA.
"‘Obamacare' creates an unelected and unaccountable panel of bureaucrats to ration and deny needed medical care to Arkansas seniors.
The board he is referring to may be asked to make recommendations to improve Medicare solvency in the future if Congress fails in its responsibility to hold costs down. However the board is specifically “barred from changing Medicare’s benefits or increasing cost-sharing.”
ObamaCare will cause insurance premiums to skyrocket by as much as 60 to 100 percent for Arkansas families.
The often criticized study that produced this statistic was only looking at the “individual market,” which only provides health coverage to 5% of Arkansans. This is the market where insurers currently offer skimpy health care packages and deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. Income related subsidies will be available to the vast majority of Arkansans purchasing coverage in this market, and CBO says premiums for such individuals will be reduced by 56% to 59%.
"‘Obamacare' raises 21 taxes by more than $1 trillion will cost at least $1.7 trillion in the first decade alone. ObamaCare violates our freedom of conscience by using taxpayer dollars to fund abortions.
"‘Obamacare' is corrupt to its rotten core.
Not true. The last time CBO scored a bill to repeal the ACA, they said repeal would increase the deficit by $109 billion and the most recent vote is likely to have even higher costs. The House Republican Budget Tom Cotton voted for kept these tax increases in place. Arkansans will receive $850,000,000 in tax credits to help make health coverage more affordable according to the Rand Corporation study the state commissioned.
"The government exempted hundreds of the president's cronies from the law.
Simply not true. Such exemptions have not been granted.
The secretary of Health and Human Services is right now shaking down private companies for millions of dollars to promote ‘Obamacare.'
She has had phone conversations in a private capacity urging insurers to fund non-profit groups that will be helping people sign up for health coverage.
And, of course, the IRS - expanded by 2,000 agents - will be the main enforcement agency for ‘Obamacare'; the very IRS that we now know targets the president's political opponents for harassment and intimidation.
Much of the new IRS staffing is actually to deliver the tax credits that will help families purchase coverage.
"‘Obamacare' must be repealed.
"I urge the Congress to repeal this abominable law. And, I urge the American people to throw out of office every politician that voted for it three years ago."