On Medicaid Expansion (Again)
The legislature is about to meet for a special session where they will vote to change the name of their Obamacare Medicaid Expansion program from "the Private Option" to "Arkansas Works". The idea is that the old waivers attached to the same program will be replaced by "new and improved" waivers. The centerpiece of the new waiver request is a requirement that recipients of the benefits are required to work or seek work. Remember that the population that got covered by Medicaid Expansion was able bodied adults. Children and the disabled were already covered under other Medicaid programs.The re-branding is part of an extremely dishonest attempt to provide cover for a lot of lawmakers, mostly Republicans, to break their campaign promises. Most of them were elected on a platform of repealing Obama's Medicaid Expansion. Just like they did with the original Private Option, many of them are going to claim that if they add a "work requirement" to Medicaid Expansion that it is not Medicaid Expansion anymore. They will rely on the "Big Lie Theory". That is, if authority figures tell a big enough lie often enough and act very confident that they are telling the truth then people will believe it is true. This is because normal people simply can't accept that "respected" public figures would look them in the eye and so brazenly lie to them. They will. They already tried it on the original Private Option, but they mostly failed to pull it off.
In a way they are already trying it. They pretended to have this "process" where a panel would try to find other options. It was all theater, not statecraft. It served the purpose of placating the grassroots just a bit longer with the possibility that this panel would recommend that we get out of Medicaid Expansion before the bills start showing up and crippling our state budget. The truth is that they had already decided the exact tactics they wanted to use to deceive you over a year ago. Here is an article from then where Dismang floats a trial balloon that sounds just like what the panel came up with. It was all a show.
The work or "seek work" requirements is also merely a show. And that's even if the two DC-parties had not colluded with global corporations to make a tax code which rewards them when they send manufacturing jobs overseas and have such lax immigration standards that 17% of workers in America right now are immigrants. Both parties are globalists who are globalizing the labor pool at our expense. But even if they had not crashed the economy, here is what I said about their "work requirement" in the link two from above:
I think most of us who have worked at large employers saw what happened when unemployment benefits got stretched to 99 weeks. Even more people came in and wasted HR's time by "applying" for jobs that they had no intention of taking if offered. I remember one place I worked at some years ago that these people would show up for the "application" dressed in filthy rags and obviously high just to make sure they did not get hired, but by golly they met the requirement of "actively seeking" work! If one did get hired by mistake, they would not show up for work.
Businesses started retaliating by moving to online-only applications, or even saying you could not apply for a job with them unless you were already working! They started saving the serious applications and not taking any new ones. FEDGOV responded with their usual ham-fistedness- telling employers they could not keep applications more than a short period of time so that HR would have to take "applications" from more deadbeats, wasting everyone in the private sector's time but keeping that government paperwork flowing smoothly.
No, adding such a requirement to Obamacare does not "dramatically" change the "private" option. Voting for a "private" option with a work or seek work requirement is not voting for anything meaningfully different than voting for the original "private" option. Dismang may be trying to float the idea that it is so that those who told you they would vote against the "private" option can vote for it anyway and then come home and tell you that they did not vote to fund the old private option they campaigned against, they voted to fund something "dramatically" different because it added the "work or seek work" requirement. If any politician insults your intelligence by looking you in the eye and telling you this I hope that you will have the moral courage to tell them to their faces that they are liars. I know I will.
OK Mark, but the fact is that the Feds now take a lot of money from Arkansans which is spent on Medicaid Expansion. If we don't participate, how can we get our money back much less other people's money which we are doing now because we expanded Medicaid? What would your approach be?
I have been asked by legislators before what I think should be done about this or that. They invariably want a solution that does not put their personal political career at risk, embarrass the members of their party who are not willing to fight the good fight, and avoid friction with the Federal government. There are policy solutions available, but at this point there are no solutions that don't involve those things. When they get to the point where they are willing to be real negotiators instead of pushovers, when they are willing to really challenge the madness of Obamacare, we should talk. I negotiate for a living, and I can tell you they are doing it wrong.