You’ve probably seen the insurance commercials touting how easy it is to get a quote that “a caveman could do it”. I have a parallel to what’s going on with Medicaid expansion at the state level and it’s so easy a caveman or an Arkansas Legislator could do it (you can insert your own Arkansas joke here like; Why is it called a tooth-brush and not a teeth-brush – because it was invented in Arkansas).
Medicaid expansion in Missouri is obviously a political hot potato and it has clearly become a party line issue because facts and reason clearly show that it is good for the state to participate in the expansion from both a health and financial perspective.
Arkansas is like Missouri in the fact that it has a Democratic Governor and a heavily Republican Legislature. Where Arkansas is different is the two parties have been able to come to a compromise and find a way for both parties to feel good about participating in the expansion.
Expansion was considered unlikely in Arkansas, too, until Republicans suggested re-inserting the private sector back into Medicaid. Arkansas proposed enrolling those newly eligible for Medicaid into health care exchanges. Those Arkansas residents would then purchase subsidized private health coverage just as other consumers do.
Analysts said the twist on Obama’s idea would allow Republicans to expand Medicaid in a way different enough to avoid any charge that they were signing off on Obamacare — which the party has roundly criticized — but still let the state tap into a flood of federal health care dollars. It’s not a done deal because Kathleen Sibelius has not signed off on the plan but she is giving the innovative approach serious consideration and more importantly the two parties are at least trying to get something done to improve the health of their state.
“It’s so easy an Arkansas Legislator can do it”!
Disclaimer: I mean no offense to my buddy Kyle Adkins with any comparison of an Arkansas native to a caveman and his constant smile provides proof that he has all of his teeth!