Our View

Our View

Medicaid program worth saving, but a line must be drawn

While there has been and continues to be some disagreement over the type of management of the state’s Medicaid expansion program there is no doubt the program that provides subsidized health coverage to more than a quarter of million Arkansans will continue.

There are still a number of state lawmakers convinced that the state’s involvement in providing free or subsidized health care is fiscally unsustainable.

Conservative opposition claim lawmakers who support this form of Obamacare are “enslaving future generations of our children and grandchildren to debt that we are irresponsibly putting on our credit card.”

One House member from Springdale, told reporters she was concerned about the vast number of Arkansans covered by Medicaid and said, “We only have 2.9 million people in Arkansas with nearly a quarter million of them dependent upon this government subsidy. Where do you stop?”

The reality of all this is that this is the results of our own doing, and the absolute fact of the matter is that whether or not we agree with the present situation it would be absolutely irresponsible to simply discontinue government subsidized health care to so many people without dramatic and drastic negative results. Arkansas’ health care issues and government subsidy programs are the result of liberal philosophy which has resulted in a growing and unmanageable number of people dependent upon government to take care of their every need.

The beginning steps in addressing this growing issue is definitely not to simply turn your back on all these people but do as Gov. Asa Hutchinson is trying to do in his proposed hybrid Medicaid expansion plan and that is to encourage enrollees to stay employed and take responsibility for their health care..

Those changes include charging premiums of about $19 a month to participants whose incomes are above the poverty level, subsidizing some enrollees’ coverage through employer plans and referring some beneficiaries to job-training programs.

The legislation was also changed to require referrals to job-training programs for enrollees with incomes of up to half the poverty level, instead of just for those with no incomes.

What also needs to be understood is that what Hutchinson is attempting to do is prepare for next year when Arkansas will be forced to absorb 10 percent of the costs for subsidized health care that the federal government is currently paying, which amounts to millions of dollars.

It is anticipated that Hutchinson’s hybrid Medicaid expansion will address these costs, coupled with the fact that the program makes the necessary steps to make participants more responsible for their lives.

This is an excellent step in the right direction that all lawmakers must understand and take very seriously.


When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain [4] path, because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.