Democratic Party of Arkansas: "Gov. Asa Hutchinson has taken a bad situation and made it worse" | Arkansas Blog

Democratic Party of Arkansas: "Gov. Asa Hutchinson has taken a bad situation and made it worse"

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The Democratic Party of Arkansas today issued a statement attacking Gov. Asa Hutchinson on the Medicaid eligibility verification mess, the recent termination of home health care services,  and Hutchinson's move on Friday to order the Department of Human Services to terminate its Medicaid provider contract with Planned Parenthood, in violation of federal law.

"Governor Asa Hutchinson has taken a bad situation and made it worse," Democratic chair Vince Insalaco said in the statement. Insalaco also noted that Sen. Bart Hester called the potential loss of all Medicaid funding if the state refused to comply with the law "the best news of the year." 

"I ask all Arkansas Democrats to pray for the tens of thousands of Arkansans who are unable to fill lifesaving prescriptions because their health insurance was unfairly cancelled," Insalaco said in the statement. "Pray for the Arkansans who are unable to see their doctor and receive medical care because their governor cut reimbursements to Planned Parenthood. Don’t just pray, act. Call Governor Hutchinson at (501) 682-2345 and tell him to stop playing politics with our Medicaid funding.”

(This statement follows similar comments from Insalaco and others in a press release from the DPA over the weekend, after the party's state committee unanimiously passed a resolution calling on Gov. Asa Hutchinson to restore Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood.) 

Insalaco's full statement from today:

"Governor Asa Hutchinson has taken a bad situation and made it worse. His administration’s mismanagement of Medicaid benefit redeterminations has put the health care of more than 50,000 Arkansans in jeopardy. He has terminated the State’s in-home health care services leaving thousands of Arkansas’s seniors to fend for themselves. This moral crisis is self-inflicted, illegal, and risks the health of Arkansas families.'

'Governor Hutchinson knows that Arkansas, and federal law prohibit the use of public funds to pay for abortions. Yet he is risking more than $5.3 billion in federal Medicaid funds, which served over 900,000 Arkansans including nearly half a million children in 2014, to score political points with the most radical members of his party.'

'Since the governor’s announcement I have not heard a single elected Republican express the moral outrage that this crisis deserves. However, leading Arkansas Republicans have taken to social media to celebrate the possible demise of federal Medicaid funding. Senator Bart Hestor - District 1, said the governor’s action against a leading provider of breast exams, PAP smears, medical testing, and treatment to low-income families was the ‘best news of the year.’ Representative Bob Ballinger – District 97, called the plan to gamble with the healthcare of nearly one million Arkansans ‘bold leadership.'

'I ask all Arkansas Democrats to pray for the tens of thousands of Arkansans who are unable to fill lifesaving prescriptions because their health insurance was unfairly cancelled. Pray for the Arkansans who are unable to see their doctor and receive medical care because their governor cut reimbursements to Planned Parenthood. Don’t just pray, act. Call Governor Hutchinson at (501) 682-2345 and tell him to stop playing politics with our Medicaid funding.”



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