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story.lead_photo.caption Gov. Asa Hutchinson, at a news conference Wednesday, speaks out in support of the bill to separate Robert E. Lee’s name from the holiday now shared with Martin Luther King Jr., setting a state memorial day for Lee in October. ( Benjamin Krain)

5 P.M. UPDATE:

LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson says a Republican proposal to replace the federal health overhaul is "inadequate" for Arkansas, but says the U.S. House should move forward with the proposal so the Senate can address concerns he and other governors have raised.

Hutchinson told members of the Political Animals Club on Friday that the House GOP proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act shifts too much costs to the state, doesn't cover all of the people Arkansas is currently covering and doesn't grant the state enough flexibility. More than 300,000 people are being covered through a hybrid Medicaid expansion in Arkansas under the federal law.

Hutchinson urged Congress to listen to concerns from governors and said he expected the measure to "change significantly" in the Senate.

EARLIER:

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he supports a proposal to ask voters to raise fuel taxes to fund highway improvements but says it's too soon to say whether he'd actively campaign for the initiative next year if it's put on the ballot by lawmakers.

Hutchinson told The Political Animals Club on Friday that he supports a pair of bills heading to the House floor that would ask voters to approve a 20-year bond issue to raise $200 million annually for the state's roads. The bonds would be repaid by levying the state's 6.5 percent sales tax on the wholesale price of gasoline and diesel. The tax would only take effect if voters approve the bond issue.

The Republican governor said the plan leaves the decision ultimately up to voters.

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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Archived Comments

  • RobertBolt
    March 10, 2017 at 8:25 p.m.

    The Republicans giddily await their mystery gift from Pandora.

  • Knuckleball1
    March 10, 2017 at 8:54 p.m.

    LOL, they don't have a clue what they are doing in Washington...!!!!! They are so stubborn to just correct the problems with what is in place now, that would be too easy... and now they are going to fight and squabble amongst themselves... and as usual not get anything done....!!!!!

  • RBear
    March 10, 2017 at 9:02 p.m.

    Republicans had years to figure this out and come up with a plan that might have worked across the nation. Instead, they spent all their time criticizing the ACA with some weak arguments and with only one alternative - repeal. When it came time to actually deal with the issue, they had no reasonable replacement. But if they don't act quickly, many are afraid their ignorant base will turn against them.
    ...
    I appreciate the points Gov. Hutchinson and others have put forward. These are elected leaders actually dealing with healthcare at the state level, not a bunch of Republican congressmen in DC who don't have a clue about healthcare. To make matters worse, they have a so-called president in the White House who has less of a clue. Just more of the irresponsible actions of a party in over their heads and with only one real deliverable, shallow rhetoric.

  • DontDrinkDatKoolAid
    March 10, 2017 at 9:22 p.m.

    Hey Gov., it's not the federal governments place to be in a health care provider as a sort.

  • carpenterretired
    March 10, 2017 at 10:07 p.m.

    Well the GOP health care plan replaces Obamacare with " We Don't care " and over 300,000 Arkansans will lose health care as there is no way they can come up with the cash to pay the high premiums and deductibles of Trumpcare. Now these folks will like in the good old days before ACA turn emergency rooms into walk in clinics with no payment to the hospitals, which will cause rural hospitals to close and urban hospitals may stay afloat by passing losses onto insurance, which will past the cost onto policy holder with much higher premiums until more and more employers and individuals will drop coverage ,the old death spiral for health insurance.

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