The Medicaid Whale Coming Down the Pipe

February 28, 2012

This morning in the Joint Budget Committee meeting in Little Rock, State Senator Jonathan Dismang proposed an amendment that would require $40 million of existing state surplus monies be shifted to the (swiftly going bankrupt) Medicaid Trust Fund. Keep in mind that Arkansas Medicaid is projected to go into a $250-$400 million shortfall in fiscal year 2013.

Now admittedly Senator Dismang’s proposal doesn’t “fix” the looming crisis; however it would help matters until something more permanent could be done. What happened today in committee was the continuation of liberals within our Legislature to turn a blind eye to any conservative approach to the approaching fiscal Medicaid failure. When will they learn that we can’t tax ourselves into prosperity? I guess that’s the ultimate question, though. When will they learn? Or will they learn?

The amendment was voted down by a mostly party line vote (only Senator Kim Hendren broke ranks with his fellow Republicans). It seemed as though (by what several Legislators commented on) since Governor Mike Beebe wasn’t behind it they couldn’t be behind it. And that, friends, is interesting all within itself.

Co-Chair Kathy Webb called the voice vote as against the amendment. A roll call was immediately requested and granted. Below is a list of said roll call.

We live-Tweeted the meeting, and you can click here to view the events as they happened.

Sen. Cecile Bledsoe – Yes
Sen. Jonathan Dismang – Yes
Sen. Missy Irvin – Yes
Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson – Yes (alternate for Sen. David Johnson)
Sen. Johnny Key – Yes
Sen. Michael Lamoureux – Yes
Sen. Bill Pritchard – Yes
Sen. Jason Rapert – Yes
Rep. Denny Altes – Yes
Rep. Duncan Baird – Yes
Rep. Ed Garner – Yes
Rep. Donna Hutchinson – Yes
Rep. Bryan King – Yes
Rep. Andrew Lea – Yes
Rep. Stephanie Malone – Yes
Rep. Tim Summers – Yes

Sen. Percy Malone – No
Sen. Paul Bookout – No
Sen. Linda Chesterfield – No
Sen. Jack Crumbly – No
Sen. Joyce Elliott – No
Sen. Stephanie Flowers – No
Sen. Kim Hendren – No
Sen. Gene Jeffress – No
Sen. Jimmy Jeffress – No
Sen. Randy Laverty – No
Sen. Jim Luker – No
Sen. Sue Madison – No
Sen. Mary Anne Salmon – No
Sen. Jerry Taylor – No
Sen. Larry Teague – No
Sen. Robert Thompson – No
Sen. David Burnett (alternate for Sen. David Wyatt) – No
Rep. Kathy Webb (Co-chair of committee) – No
Rep. Uvalde Lindsey (Vice-chair of committee) – No
Rep. Fred Allen – No
Rep. Tommy Lee Baker – No
Rep. Jerry Brown – No
Rep. Tommy Wren (alternate for Rep. Clark Hall) – No
Rep. Keith Ingram – No
Rep. Buddy Lovell – No
Rep. James McLean – No
Rep. Robert S. Moore – No
Rep. Tracy Pennartz – No
Rep. Mark Perry – No
Rep. Bobby Pierce – No
Rep. Bubba Powers – No
Rep. Garry Smith – No
Rep. Nate Steel – No
Rep. Charlotte Wagner – No
Rep. Henry “Hank” Wilkins, IV – No

Not Present
Sen. Steve Harrelson – Not Present
Sen. Ruth Whitaker – Not Present
Rep. John Catlett – Not Present
Rep. Barry Hyde – Not Present

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