State of Arkansas Archives: on Health Care


Asa Hutchinson: Voted for ObamaCare early on but now consistently against it

Back in 2009, Ross cast a somewhat reluctant vote to advantage the health care reform debate in June of 2009 along with a block of fellow Blue Dog Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Ross contends that vote does not matter since that version of health care reform--H.R.3200--did not become law. Instead the Senate version--H.R.3962--eventually was the bill that became ObamaCare.

The truth? Ross was the leader of a small group of Blue Dogs that signed on to ObamaCare after receiving several key concessions. One of the concessions was a delay in any vote until after the August recess. During the heated town hall meetings, Ross came to see that he could not support ObamaCare. After that, he consistently voted against the bill and even voted for repeal. However, the turnaround does not erase the record.

Source: Russellville Courier FactCheck: 2014 Arkansas Governor race Nov 27, 2013

Asa Hutchinson: Voted against individuals keeping health insurance plans

[A GOP press release highlighted] a 2009 committee vote where Ross against an amendment that would have allowed individuals to keep their health insurance plans if they liked the plan. Now, millions of Americans got cancellation notices from their health insurance companies.

"The Republican Party is referencing an amendment to a bill that never became law," said a Ross spokesman. "Ross' opponents have used distortions to smear Ross' consistent opposition to ObamaCare. The truth is Mike Ross allowed Americans' to keep their health insurance by consistently voting against ObamaCare and voting to repeal the law multiple times over."

The truth lies somewhere in between. While the parliamentary maneuvers did end up causing a different bill to become ObamaCare, the bill Ross voted for in committee in 2009 was the version the House was advancing at the time. If that bill had not mattered as Ross now claims, there would not have been the intense debate and pressure put on Ross to vote for the bill.

Source: Russellville Courier FactCheck: 2014 Arkansas Governor race Nov 27, 2013

Mark Pryor: AdWatch: Targeted by RNC robocalls for support of ObamaCare

Sen. Mark Pryor is among 11 Democrats targeted by the Republican National Committee for their support of ObamaCare. The RNC is using robocalls and posting on Facebook to urge people to call their representatives and ask "why they supported President Obama's lie that people could keep their healthcare plans under ObamaCare."

The targets besides Pryor are Reps. Gary Peters (MI) and Bruce Braley (IA), Sens. Mark Warner (VA), Mark Begich (AK), Dick Durbin (IL), Kay Hagan (NC), Mary Landrieu (LA), Jeff Merkley (OR), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), and Mark Udall (CO). The robocall script reads:

"President Obama and the Democrats said you could keep your healthcare plan under ObamaCare. Now we know [SENATOR] actually VOTED to make it more difficult. Call [SENATOR] at (XXX)-XXX-XXX & ask why [he/she] lied."

The robocalls are a response to Democrats launching the "GOP Shutdown Watch" campaign, highlighting Republican senate candidates who supported the partial federal government shutdown.

Source: MI Daily Tribune AdWatch: 2014 Arkansas Senate debate Nov 5, 2013

Tom Cotton: Federal shut down to force ObamaCare delay by one year

Pryor blasts Cotton for forcing a government shutdown and hurting the economy in a new ad: "Tom Cotton cost us billions. The government shutdown cost America $24 billion. Cotton and a small group of reckless congressmen took our country to the brink of default," the ad's narrator says.

In response, the Cotton campaign released the following statement: "This ad is a total fabrication and is just the latest example of Sen. Pryor telling Arkansans one thing and doing something completely different in Washington. Tom Cotton voted five times to fund the government and end the shutdown. Sen. Pryor voted against four separate compromise measures that could have opened the government sooner. Instead, Sen. Pryor chose once again to side with Pres. Obama and Harry Reid. Among the compromise measures that Pryor opposed, one would simply have delayed the individual mandate in ObamaCare by one year, giving Arkansas families the same grace period the Administration has already given to big businesses.

Source: Arkansas Matters's AdWatch on 2014 Arkansas Senate debate Oct 22, 2013

Tom Cotton: FactCheck: No special subsidies for congressional staff

An ad from Tom Cotton attacks Pryor on ObamaCare. Here's the text:

"What's good for the goose ought to be good for the gander. But not in Washington. Mark Pryor cast the deciding vote to make you live under ObamaCare. But Pryor votes himself and everyone in Congress special subsidies so they're protected from ObamaCare. Exceptions and special subsidies for Mark Pryor. Higher insurance premiums for you."

The "special subsidy" refers to a provision, pushed by Republicans, that requires members of Congress and their staff to buy health coverage through the ObamaCare marketplaces. Federal worker benefits would take the same money that it would have spent on the government's old health insurance and spend it on whatever lawmakers and their staffs purchased on the ObamaCare marketplaces. In other words, it would do what every other employer does. Continuing that cost-sharing is the "special subsidy" the Cotton ad refers to. The assertion falls wide of the facts, and we rate this claim False.

Source: PolitiFact AdWatch on 2014 Arkansas Senate debate Oct 7, 2013

Mike Beebe: Provide better care without federal Affordable Care Act

We must find a better way to pay for health care in Arkansas, regardless of the legal fate of the Affordable Care Act. Arkansas has a unique opportunity to be an incubator for sensible, system-wide improvements to our health-care system. Our ability to care for the well-being of all of our people, while addressing a broken system, could set the standard for America.
Source: Arkansas 2011 gubernatorial press release #3042 Aug 25, 2011

Blanche Lambert Lincoln: Fix broken logistics of healthcare delivery

All four candidates feel there should be changes in health care. "There's absolutely nothing in this bill that controls cost. And you're seeing it escalate tremendously now," says Boozman.

"The logistics of our delivery system are broken and we've got to fix them," adds Lincoln.

Source: Today's THV coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate debate Oct 13, 2010

John Boozman: I want to be the deciding vote to repeal ObamaCare

Lincoln said, "I'm the most independent voice in Washington these days, quite frankly," she said. "Some people say I'm too liberal and others say I'm too conservative. The fact is, I'm in the middle; I'm working hard; I'm out there working to make a difference."

Boozman repeatedly highlighted Lincoln's role as a pivotal vote in the passage of Obama's health-care law. "Sen. Lincoln is very proud of being the deciding vote of Obamacare. I want to be the deciding vote to repeal it," Boozman said.

Source: Boston Globe coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate debate Oct 13, 2010

John Boozman: Nothing in healthcare bill controls cost; much escalates it

All four candidates feel there should be changes in health care. "There's absolutely nothing in this bill that controls cost. And you're seeing it escalate tremendously now," says Boozman.

"The logistics of our delivery system are broken and we've got to fix them," adds Lincoln.

Source: Today's THV coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate debate Oct 13, 2010

Blanche Lambert Lincoln: Worked to ensure the overhaul helped small businesses

At one point in the debate, Boozman and Lincoln were allowed to pose each other questions. Boozman asked Lincoln to defend her vote for the federal health care overhaul.

Lincoln said she worked to make sure the overhaul didn't include a government-run insurance option and helped small businesses. "Where there are places to correct in this bill, I will work hard to make it better. The fact is I'm hearing from Arkansans that there were a lot of things we needed to do and I think this got us started," Lincoln said.

Boozman said he voted against the overhaul because he heard overwhelming opposition from Arkansans to the legislation. "Something needs to be done, but the idea that we've got to do something [in Congress] and that's the solution is what I think is wrong with government," Boozman said.

Source: Associated Press coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate debate Sep 10, 2010

John Boozman: Solution like overhaul is what's wrong with government

At one point in the debate, Boozman and Lincoln were allowed to pose each other questions. Boozman asked Lincoln to defend her vote for the federal health care overhaul.

Lincoln said she worked to make sure the overhaul didn't include a government-run insurance option and helped small businesses. "Where there are places to correct in this bill, I will work hard to make it better. The fact is I'm hearing from Arkansans that there were a lot of things we needed to do and I think this got us started," Lincoln said.

Boozman said he voted against the overhaul because he heard overwhelming opposition from Arkansans to the legislation. "Something needs to be done, but the idea that we've got to do something [in Congress] and that's the solution is what I think is wrong with government," Boozman said.

Source: Associated Press coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate debate Sep 10, 2010

Blanche Lambert Lincoln: I stopped the public option in ObamaCare

Rep. Boozman called the health-care bill a "job killer" and Senator Lincoln defended her vote, while admitting the bill isn't perfect:

BOOZMAN: "Would you still cast the deciding vote for ObamaCare?"

LINCOLN: "People told me they wanted no government health care and I stopped it. I did not support the public option and I stopped that government health care. This is a complicated issue. This is not a perfect bill, it's going to take us time. Where there are places to correct in this bill I will. I would just simply ask, if we're not going to do something, we're just going to continue the status quo. Is that appropriate?"

BOOZMAN:"Certainly something needs to be done but the idea that we've got to do something and that's the solution, I think is what's wrong with government."

Source: Fox News TV-16 coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate Debate Sep 8, 2010

John Boozman: Something needs to be done, but ObamaCare is a job killer

Rep. Boozman called the health-care bill a "job killer" and Senator Lincoln defended her vote, while admitting the bill isn't perfect:

BOOZMAN: "Would you still cast the deciding vote for ObamaCare?"

LINCOLN: "People told me they wanted no government health care and I stopped it. I did not support the public option and I stopped that government health care. This is a complicated issue. This is not a perfect bill, it's going to take us time. Where there are places to correct in this bill I will. I would just simply ask, if we're not going to do something, we're just going to continue the status quo. Is that appropriate?"

BOOZMAN:"Certainly something needs to be done but the idea that we've got to do something and that's the solution, I think is what's wrong with government."

Source: Fox News TV-16 coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate Debate Sep 8, 2010

Blanche Lambert Lincoln: Can’t get our arms around the uninsured

“I hear it from corporations, parents, single people, the young and the elderly,” she said. “We can’t get our arms around the uninsured. That’s the problem,” Lincoln said. When people can’t afford to pay in to the insurance system, the insured and taxpayers are left with the expense of their treatment, she said. “There’s not one particular bill, or pill, that’s going to make us all better,” Lincoln said of health care.
Source: AR Senate Debate in Arkansas News Bureau Oct 29, 2004

Mike Huckabee: ARKids First program: record decreases in uninsured

We led the nation in the percentage decrease of uninsured citizens, in large part because of the passage four years ago of the ARKids First program, which is one of the nation’s premier programs for health insurance. Many were thrilled when Columbia University released the report last year that showed Arkansas reduced child poverty more than any other state.
Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Arkansas legislature Jan 9, 2001

  • The above quotations are from State of Arkansas Politicians: Archives.
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2012 Presidential contenders on Health Care:
  Democrats:
Pres.Barack Obama(IL)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)

Republicans:
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Third Parties:
Green: Dr.Jill Stein(MA)
Libertarian: Gov.Gary Johnson(NM)
Justice: Mayor Rocky Anderson(UT)
Constitution: Rep.Virgil Goode(VA)
Peace+Freedom: Roseanne Barr(HI)
Reform Party: André Barnett(NY)
AmericansElect: Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
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