Can Arkansas’ Healthcare Solution be a Model for ObamaCare?
Posted at 5:33 p.m. on Nov. 13, 2013
What does a Democratic governor do to provide health insurance for his low-income constituents when faced with a Republican legislature determined to reduce costs? Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe (D) has an answer.
According to an in-depth profile by The Atlantic, Beebe devised a creative solution to circumvent a potential fight over Medicaid expansion: “Arkansas got a waiver to use the federal Medicaid money to buy private insurance for the people who would otherwise have been eligible for the Medicaid expansion. The state’s legislature had approved this “private option” earlier this year… Basically, Arkansas won the Chopped challenge of public healthcare problems: Taking a basket of things that totally don’t go together, like marshmallows (government entitlements) and fish heads (Republicans) and making a reasonable appetizer (health insurance for the poor) out of it.”
“This is a pretty perfect example of how important the semantics of Obamacare have become to its implementation. Simply substituting a private program for a public one made the Arkansas Medicaid expansion acceptable to that state’s Obamacare opponents, even though it uses the same federal funds.”