Don't Be Deceived With SB96 Private Option Bill
Please note the red font below, especially the indented paragraph in red.
Supporters of SB96 are wowing people with all their good reasons for supporting SB96 with statistics, etc. that common citizens can't argue with. Below are some common sense aspects that most grassroots opponents already see but need to keep in mind as they argue their case with "brilliant" legislators. (I use stars rather than bullet points because I can control my margins better.)
* SB96 does nothing to change existing law. Existing law already states the Private Option Medicaid Expansion will end December 31, 2016. SB 96 also says the Private Option will end December 31, 2016. Therefore, it cannot truthfully be called a repeal bill or that it ends the Private Option. Existing law already does that.
* Republicans voting for SB 96 are voting with all the Democrats. ALL Democrats voted for the Private Option in 2013 and ALL Democrats are voting for the SB96 because they know it continues the Private Option and/or offers the best chance of continuing it.
* All liberal media who totally supported the Private Option are gloating over the passage of SB96. See links to some of those stories on that subject at end of this email.
* SB96 has obviously been rushed through purposely. Republican leaders connived to get this bill out before anyone had any time to file bills to actually repeal the Private Option and suspended rules and ran roughshod over new conservative legislators and the people. Governor Hutchinson didn't even tell us where he stood until just before the SB96 was filed, giving legislators no chance to mount any resistance. It was a brilliant strategy on their part. Legislators voting for SB96 have been highly critical of this " rushing a bill through" Washington technique they are now using to get this bill through quickly. This fact alone should be enough to cause legislators to vote against SB96.
* Supporters of SB96 are using the same scare tactics Democrats have always used to sway the people - that if we end the bill too early, there may be expensive lawsuits from people insured under the PO. Former attorney general Democrat Dustin McDaniel used this scare tactic in often, testifying that certain bills could well be challenged in court. One GOP senator advocate of SB96 admitted on radio that there could be lawsuits just as well when the Private Option ends. Lawsuits are always possible with any legislation so this is just an excuse because actual language in the Private Option bill protects against lawsuits, saying,
(i) An eligible individual enrolled in the program shall affirmatively acknowledge that:
(1) The program is not a perpetual federal or state right or a guaranteed entitlement;
(2) The program is subject to cancellation upon appropriate notice; and
(3) The program is not an entitlement program.
* Advocates for SB96 are protecting another entitlement program rather than the taxpayers. Governor Hutchinson in his speech said, "Secondly, I'm asking the legislature to create a Health Reform Task Force that will make recommendations for the future. And the purpose of this task force is to find an alternative health coverage model to ensure healthcare services for vulnerable populations currently covered by the Private Option" Note the word vulnerable. I know a lot of vulnerable taxpayers who can't even take their children to the doctor now because deductibles are so high. And notice the population covered now will be covered some other way.
* The sixteen legislative-member Task Force is basically the one additional aspect of SB96 not in existing law and a bad addition. Governor Hutchinson goes on to say in his speech, "So hear me clearly. We're going to continue the Private Option through 2016 and create a Health Reform Task Force that will make recommendations for the future. And that will include a compassionate and reasonable cost-effective response for care of those currently on the Private Option. Note that Governor Hutchinson states the purpose of the Task Force is to include those currently on the Private Option. Words do have meaning, and every taskforce nearly always recommends the plans of the people who appointed them.
* There is no way to continue coverage of those more than 200 thousand people now enrolled in the Private Option ( and possibly a hundred thousand more enrolled by 2016) except through a plan with a new name. Changing the name of something that has become toxic has often been the game of the Democrats and so called moderate Republicans. Following is a quote from liberal journalist John Brummett that gives the reason Democrats are so jubilant over passage of SB96 which makes perfect common sense.
There is no way this task force could come up with the hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars in savings needed to continue providing private health insurance to those quarter-million people in the private option without accepting federal Medicaid expansion money after 2017...But the idea that the state could go back to basic Medicaid on a 70-30 federal-state match and serve more inexpensively over the long-term the poor population for which the federal government offers a long-term 90-10 match for Medicaid expansion - well, that's somewhere between a pipe dream and a charade. Taken from "Game of the Name" http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2015/jan/27/the-game-of-the-name-20150127/.
Everyone should read the above article for a description of the deception taking place. These liberals often know the deceptive techniques better and before the conservatives do, and liberal journalists John Brummett and Max Brantley are very useful for this purpose.
* The Task Force is basically the one additional aspect of SB96 not in the existing Private Option law and the means to be used to continue the Private Option (As some have said, the November election WAS the Task Force, and they spoke loudly and clearly). "The appointing authorities of the Task Force are: President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Speaker of the House, and the majority and minority party chairs and whips. Prior to this legislation, every one of these people (with the exception of the Majority Leader of the Senate) voted for the Private Option in 2013 and 2014." See this link: http://www.conduitforaction.org/sb96-does-it-support-or-oppose-obamacare-medicaid-expansion/#more-2027
* SB96 passed the Senate but hasn't passed the House yet but has been read on the floor and referred to the House Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee. Watch for the Republican leaders to rush this bill through the House as they did in the Senate.
* Following is the numbered description of the legislators who will make up the Task Force from SB96 and is found in Section 2, page 5 at this link: http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2015/2015R/Bills/SB96.pdf
1. The President Pro Tempore of the Senate (who is pro-private option)
2. Five members appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate
3. The Senate Majority Leader (the Gov's nephew who is sponsoring SB96)
4. The Senate Minority Leader (who is pro-private option)
5. The Speaker of the House of Representatives (who is pro-private option)
6. Five members appointed by the Speaker of the House
7. The House Majority Leader (who is pro-private option)
8. The House Minority Leader (who is pro-private option)
Following are links to liberal media gloating over the passage of SB96
"Game of the Name" at this link: http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2015/jan/27/the-game-of-the-name-20150127/.
AsaCare and more good news
A tribute to Asa Hutchinson, the health governors
Posted by Women Action Groupt January 31, 2015