We’ve been keeping a close eye on developments in Arkansas, where Medicaid expansion was embraced last year with bipartisan support, bringing coverage to about 100,000 low-income Arkansans, but where the policy is now in severe jeopardy, thanks to opposition from far-right state House lawmakers.
But of particular interest is one specific member of the Arkansas state House, Republican Josh Miller, who was severely injured in a car accident several years ago, and who benefited directly from Medicaid.
That’s right, one of GOP lawmakers trying to end Medicaid expansion is himself a Medicaid beneficiary.
The above clip is well worth your time, as is Max Brantley’s report on the segment.
On MSNBC, Miller repeated his assertion to me that opponents don’t want to take away coverage from the 127,000 who’ve already been signed up. There’s no kind way to put this. It is inaccurate Miller knows it is inaccurate. To knowingly say something inaccurate is, well, a lie. David Ramsey has explained repeatedly, such as here, why it’s not true. Opponents want to kill Obamacare next year. It’s a poor fig leaf that they’d let those currently signed up stay covered for a few months. The honest ones, such as Rep. Nate Bell, at least admit this.Miller “humbly” thanked the American people and the people of Arkansas for helping him out with his medical bills, but said the state just couldn’t afford to pay more, not even the 5 percent of the bill that won’t kick in until 2017.
I’d just add that Miller also told Chris, “We’re going to be faced with three options. Either kicking the folks off the program who have signed up in good faith, and that is a horrible option. Raising taxes, that’s another bad option. Or three would be cutting much needed other services that our state provides.”
I think there’s a little more to the debate than this, but for now, the position from far-right state House members is to send cancelation notices to about 100,000 Arkansans.