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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press $85 Million Would Be About 2.2 Percent of Arkansas' State Budget

$85 Million Would Be About 2.2 Percent of Arkansas' State Budget

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Tuesday, 11 February 2014 08:06

That may not have been obvious to some of the readers of a NYT article that discussed the impact of the state rejecting an expansion of the Medicaid program under the ACA. The article told readers that this rejection would create a hole of $85 million in the state's budget. Just in case some readers haven't checked in on spending levels in Arkansas recently, the 2.2 percent number might have been useful information to include in the article.

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Said with sarcasm
written by Ryan, February 11, 2014 7:15
Thanks for the information and keeping us informed. I only had the state's GDP memorized (and that information is a year out of date). Seriously, whatever these people make, it's too much if you believe wages are tied to merit.
Arkansas Attacks Adam Smith and Specialization of Labor
written by Last Mover, February 11, 2014 8:08
Ms. Irvin did not respond to requests for comment. But in a statement last month announcing her change of heart, she indicated that she was upset about a decision by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the state’s dominant health insurance company, to cut reimbursement rates by 15 percent for specialists who participate in its plans sold on Arkansas’s new federally run online insurance exchange.


As a devout radical republican ideologue hater of health care for the poor of any kind other than voluntary charity - private option, public option, Medicaid option or any other option funded by government, I would like to show my support for Ms. Irvin, Adam Smith and the free market specialization of labor.

Refusing to pay specialists 15% below what they are worth in a competitive free market of health care is equivalent to outright totalitarianism. It is no different than forcing all doctors to be generalist Primary Health Physicians the way Stalin did under the communist boot of undifferentiated commoditized health care.

You want to help the poor with health care America? Then pay for it! Stop giving it away! Give the specialists the monopoly profit they command for their services or give up forever the productivity from specialized labor that gave birth to capitalism itself.

Besides, as one health care predator to another, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield can afford it anyway.
State Senator Missy Irvin voted for expanded Medicare, but has rw challenger now
written by jaaaaayceeeee, February 11, 2014 1:26

State Senator Irvin voted for Arkansas's private option (those at poverty line to 138%) expanding Medicaid. Those with $11,490 - $16,000 income must pay co-pays up to $604 (12.8% of income if family of 2 at 138% of poverty line, higher if more kids). Irvin is voting to defund the program, after her primary challenger lambasted her on the first day of his campaign for voting yes.

Unless someone else changes their vote to support Medcaid expansion, the program will be defunded. Although State Rep Nathan Bell voted against Medicaid expansion last year, and says his preference is that the program go away, he said that he might consider continuing the program, if patients have more skin in the game.

Nathan Bell is known for tweeting, "I wonder how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15 with a hi-capacity magazine?" during the Boston Marathon manhunt, and posting to Facebook that comparing Dems to Nazis is wayyy too easy. More germane to subsidies, Bell voted to reduce the skin in the game (taxes) for corporations, yet says the poorest should pay more, out of pocket for health care.

Does State Rep Nathan Bell have as high a percentage of his income (legislator and construction company) at risk for co-pays as his poorest constituents, or the even higher percentage he thinks they should be paying? He receives $15,832 plus per diem's for working, part time as a legislator, and has a construction company.

In other words, he might be convinced to not take away health insurance for the working poor, so long as they pay a higher percentage of the income than him?
Tough Professor - Prof. Baker
written by James, February 11, 2014 8:08
Scary stuff for sure...

Did you often give out essay test for mid-term or final?

If yes, did you read your students' written papers with a scrutiny as you have done on pathetic Samuelson, G. Will, or media like NYT and WaPO?

Were your grades like a bell curve like one supposed to be? :)

I am sure you likely had a reputation among your students who try to select their econ courses.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.

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