Thursday, March 12, 2015

Voting Record SB343 Arkansas Obamacare Exchange Unless . . .

Hendren's (Asa's) SB343 Passed the House Yesterday
And Is On Its Way for Signature by the Governor
Voting Record Below 

by Debbie Pelley: State Exchange Will Be Implemented Unless... the US Supreme Court declares that only insurance on a state exchange may offer subsidies. Even if the court rules that way, SB343 merely puts the Arkansas Obamacare Exchange on hold for more state legislation while Arkansas bureaucrats continue to spend money on preparing for the creation of the state exchange. - See: Conduit for Action Article: Arkansas’ Obamacare Exchange Prospects Look Grim But Legislature Didn’t Repeal It.

My personal opinion is that the governor and Hendren gambled on the chance that the Supreme Court is NOT going to rule to curtail Obamacare and that the last paragraph of SB343 is really the gem of that bill. Basically that last paragraph says that if the Supreme Court does not curtail Obamacare in the King vs. Burwell Supreme Court case, the GOP administration leaves the State Exchange in place as it was set up under Governor Beebe in 2013. Just what we voted in all the Republicans to do! Continue Obamacare and the Beebe administration but with a Republican governor. Then if Sanders' SB828 passes, the legislature will be out of the picture and the following four entities will make all the decisions. The Insurance Commissioner, The Department of Finance & Administration, The Department of Human Services and the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace (the state exchange board).

You remember how many weeks and months it took to really understand what the Supreme Court ruled and what it all meant in its first major ruling on Obamacare. Under SB343 (just passed) the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace board, appointed by Beebe and Private Option supporters get to determine what the Supreme ruling means in Arkansas. It is up to their discretion as to whether the state exchange goes into effect or not, supposedly based on what the Supreme Court decides. Of course they won several Republicans over by telling them they get to vote on the appropriation in the fiscal session next year, and it takes 3/4 majority to appropriate the funds for it , but we have already seen how that has played out in Arkansas more than once - we already had one situation like that in Arkansas this very year on the funding for the Private Option. The best I remember we could not even get 20 legislators to oppose it.

(I do believe we have about 40 Republican legislators in LR that are really trying to do the right thing; but with the Democrats voting for all the governor's bills, these conservatives have not been able to withstand the tide. Most of us have learned better than we ever knew before that the leaders of the two Houses and the governor basically control everything.)

The vote on SB343 was 74 For and 26 voting No or Present (Present basically counts as a No). Twenty six Democrats and forty-eight Republicans voted for SB343. There are 64 Republicans and 36 Democrats in the House. Fifteen Republicans and eleven Democrats didn't vote for it. I am listing below the Republicans who voted against it or voted present. I am not listing the Democrats because they probably didn't vote for it because it was not liberal enough for them.

Hendren's SB343:
These Republicans Voted No: (Thank you!) Donnie Copeland, Brandt Smith, Gary Deffenbaugh, Nelda Speaks, Jack Ladyman, Dave Wallace,

These Republicans voted present: (Squishy.) Charlotte Douglas, Jon Eubanks, Tim Lemons, Robin Lundstrum, Justin Harris, Matthew Pitsch, Lane Jean, Marcus Richmond. The speaker Jeremy Gillam voted present as is traditionally the case.

ALL the other Republicans Voted Yes (Disappointed!)
Link for the voting record!

The Senate has already voted on it and I sent that out earlier. Link to that vote!

Tags: SB 343. State Exchange, Arkansas, Obamacare,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

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