Thursday, December 22, 2011

Arkansas Governor Ignores Bi-Partisan Opposition to Obamacare

Governor Mike Beebe Ignores Bi-Partisan Opposition to Obamacare, Plays Partisan Game with Health Insurance Exchange

Little Rock, Ark. – Republican Party of Arkansas Communications Director Katherine Vasilos released the following statement in response to Democratic Governor Mike Beebe’s weekly column and radio address where he announces support for implementing a key component to Obamacare and recognizes legislative Republicans for stopping the early implementation of the President’s health care law:
“While there is bi-partisan opposition to setting up a health insurance exchange, we thank the Governor for giving Republicans credit for delaying the early implementation of Obamacare in Arkansas. It’s unfortunate Governor Beebe is playing partisan games and using scare tactics to give himself political cover. Only the Governor has the authority to authorize grants to fund an exchange, and he chose to not act. While we agree and applaud his decision, the decision was entirely up to him. Until the Supreme Court rules this summer on the constitutionality of the law, we should not spend tax dollars to fund planning for an Obamacare exchange in Arkansas.”

Governor Beebe Supports Key Component to Obamacare
“Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe is supporting a partnership with the federal government to implement the insurance exchange required under the health care law after efforts for a state-run exchange failed.” (Beebe Backs Health Exchange Partnership Idea, Associated Press, 12/22/11)

“My preference was to maintain control of the insurance exchange in Arkansas…” (Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, “Protecting Arkansas Insurance Consumers,” Weekly Column and Radio Address, 12/22/11)

Governor Beebe Acknowledges Arkansas Republicans For Stopping Obamacare
“My preference was to maintain control of the insurance exchange in Arkansas…A bill was introduced during the 2011 legislative session to give Arkansas that very control. However, legislative Republicans vigorously fought the bill, and voted repeatedly to de-fund the entire Arkansas Insurance Department over this issue.” (Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, “Protecting Arkansas Insurance Consumers,” Weekly Column and Radio Address, 12/22/11)

Democrat Legislators Oppose Obamacare Exchange
“Other Democrats, including Senate President Pro Tem-designate Larry Teague, indicated they have no intention of supporting a state health exchange at this time. ‘I wasn’t crazy about the idea to begin with,’ said Rep. Nate Steel, D-Nashville. ‘Federal grant funds always come with strings attached. I’m not certain what those strings will be yet, but until we know more, I don’t believe we should apply for them.'" (Jason Tolbert, “The Obamacare hot potato,” Arkansas News Bureau, 12/9/11)

“Rep. James McLean (D-Batesville) thinks it is the right decision not to apply for the grants. ‘I work for the people of Independence County and they don’t support the health care exchanges,’ said McLean.” (Jason Tolbert, “Minority Leader Burris Points to Obama as Responsible for Health Care Exchanges,” The Tolbert Report,12/2/11)

Governor Beebe Forgets He Has Authority To Fund Planning For Obamacare Exchange
“Beebe doesn't need legislative approval to seek the grant…” (Andrew Demillo, “Beebe unlikely to seek health exchange grant,”Associated Press, 9/27/11)

“To avoid the disastrous consequences of losing our Insurance Department, I agreed to abide by any legislative decisions regarding the health-insurance exchange and not supersede their decision by executive order. As a result, we missed the opportunity to control the exchange, and it will be set up by the federal government.” (Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, “Protecting Arkansas Insurance Consumers,” Weekly Column and Radio Address, 12/22/11)

Arkansas Gov. Beebe Seeks To Be First State To Implement ObamaCare
"Merely the hint of Obamacare, Arkansas, Gov. Mike Beebe (D), and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (D) stirs the concerns of Arkansans who overwhelmingly said loudly and clearly "No to Obamacare" prior to the 2010 elections. In fact, the backlash against incumbent Democrats Representatives and former Sen. Lincoln over government controlled healthcare resulted in Arkansas electing more Republicans to office than in the former 128 years. . . . " (ARRA News Service, 3/8/11)

Tags: Arkansas, Governor, Mike Beebe, Obamacare

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