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House members will try again today to reach a deal on a private-option appropriation that can attract at least 75 votes in the 100-member chamber, state legislative leaders said.

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Front Section, Pages 1 on 03/03/2014

Print Headline: House gridlock stalls session

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  • WGT
    March 3, 2014 at 9:25 a.m.

    Conservative right wing thought is holding Arkansas hostage. Dagnabbit, will all you republicans grow up! What is wrong with you?

    March 3, 2014 at 10:17 a.m.

    Arkansas legislators wisely covered the children of our state. What about the parents of those children? If they become ill with treatable diseases and get no treatment because they have no health care, who takes care of the children? Will the state then fund more orphanages?

  • StrayGoose70
    March 3, 2014 at 11:08 a.m.

    The PO should have never happened, but we can thank The Big Blue Satan for the legislative push. Obamacaid/Beebecaid is the State of Arkansas implementing Obamacare, which neither the state nor the federal government can sustain without more taxes. It's not the government's place to provide health insurance to citizens, particularly at no or subsidized cost, unless earned, such as veterans' healthcare.

  • Goad
    March 3, 2014 at 12:41 p.m.

    Eliminate PO, only a windfall for insurance companies. Expand Medicaid to cover low income. Much more cost effective than private enterprise because of lack of competition. Competition can't really be introduced in healthcare. You can not take bids or shop around for a doctor or hospital when having a heart attack. Private enterprise has driven our cost to 18% of GDP while other developed nations are at 10-12%. Our results are no better either. Republicans blocked single payor to protect big ins., big pharma etc. it doesn't improve care, only profits.

  • Packman
    March 3, 2014 at 12:55 p.m.

    @Goad - Dude, why don't they just expand Medicaid to everybody? And how low is "low" income?

  • FreeSpiritMan
    March 3, 2014 at 2:19 p.m.

    Single payer, single payer, period !!!!

  • Whippersnapper
    March 4, 2014 at 7:02 a.m.

    Yes, BSBoy, Single Payer. We all want doctors who are no longer the best and brightest to serve us, just like you do. We won't put a dollar figure on health, so as a result we will take the profit motive off the table. Like it or not, doctors make a good wage. 14% of the "top 1%" that class envy folks like you harp on are doctors.
    Think all those folks would be risking malpractice suits and putting in seven to ten years of schooling followed by several years of 60+ hour weeks of residency if they didn't see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Some of them might, but many of them would not.
    Essentially, Single Payer reduces you from the best and brightest to something less. In the U.K., many of their doctors are folks who couldn't/didn't afford med school in the U.K. Fully one third of British doctors are trained abroad, and those doctors are five times as likely to have their licenses revoked as doctors trained in the U.K. (Telegraph - December 29, 2012)
    Let's think about this. A man or woman invests a couple of hundred thousand dollars in their education. They start college at age 18. Start med school at age 22. Start their residency at age 26. If they are a general practitioner, they can be done at 29, but if they are a specialist, they might not be done until 34 (a general surgeon would be done at 31). For serious specialists they are required to take an additional fellowship of 1-3 years.
    Let's add all this up. A doctor started studying and attending classes SIXTY hours a week as an undergrad and INCREASED that in med school. They then entered a residency where they are working for relatively low pay while working 60-80 hours a week. When they finish with all of their training, they have sacrificed the first 11 to 19 years of post high school and hundreds of thousands of dollars for their education.
    This is a major investment and a not inconsiderable risk. They could flunk out of med school, and even if they complete med school, there are not enough residency openings in the U.S. for all the applicants who graduate from med school (because international students apply for U.S. residency programs as well).
    Having made that significant investment of time and money, doctors finally begin to see the fruits of their labors and must begin repaying loans and investing in a practice (either building a new one or buying into an existing practice). This is all fueled by money. Taking away the profit motive by going single payer will eliminate the main incentive lots of folks have to go into medicine. It will no longer attract the best and brightest.
    Good job - by implementing Single Payer, you have lowered the overall quality of physician in America!

  • Populist
    March 4, 2014 at 7:25 a.m.

    Whippersnapper is correct. The doctors deserve to be well paid. Pediatricians in this country make less than many veterinarians. People who work hard to have the prime health insurance already get access to the best doctors. The insurance companies stop price gouging by not having doctors who do this in their systems. Prime insurance includes coverage by virtually all top doctors. However, this country should have basic healthcare coverage for the poor--especially children. It is cheaper and more prudent to give them access to nurses for basic care instead of having them clog up emergency rooms with the flu.

  • Whippersnapper
    March 4, 2014 at 7:33 a.m.

    Pop says:
    "However, this country should have basic healthcare coverage for the poor--especially children. It is cheaper and more prudent to give them access to nurses for basic care instead of having them clog up emergency rooms with the flu."
    We already HAD that before Obamacare. Children in families up to 211% of the federal poverty level had access to the ARKids program, and pregnant women had coverage up to 209% of the FPL in the state Medicaid program. Old folks, and disabled folks (children and adults) also had coverage, as did the poorest of the poor. The only ones who didn't get free healthcare in Arkansas (which had some of the most stringent standards) were completely healthy adults.

  • Populist
    March 4, 2014 at 7:44 a.m.


    I'm really glad that Huckabee put the Ark Kids in place, but many states do not have that. I also believe in basic care for all. The nerve of Rep. Josh Miller to take advantage of free care after his car accident and then vote against the expansion. The simple truth is that Arkansas is extremely poor and should not be turning away federal money. The change that needs to take place is to enable people to become more self-sufficient through education and jobs programs. Adolescence is the most important time to help kids with summer educational and employment programs. Areas of high truancy and youth idleness in the summer turn into high drug and crime areas. If the young people of Little Rock could be kept busy in the summer, you would have a lower crime rate.