Arkansas May Become First State to Kick People Off Obamacare

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 18 2014 4:53 PM

Arkansas May Become First State to Kick People Off Obamacare

If you're a conservative, Arkansas' legislature flipped from Democratic to Republican at the perfect time. The party rode Mitt Romney's coattails and a magic carpet of donations to take over in 2012, setting up two years of confrontations with Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe. But the governor (who does not have veto power) figured out a way to keep the state involved in the Affordable Care Act rollout. Instead of expanding Medicaid, the state would seek a waiver for a "private option"—dollars spent on private insurance plans for the poor. It would need to be approved in 2013 and 2014.

Guess what just happened. The state House took up the bill, which required 75 (of 100) votes to advance. The bill had already been amended with language that blocked the state from advertising the private option, because in the words of the amendment sponsor, "We're trying to create a barrier to enrollment." But the bill only got 70 votes.

Reporting from Arkansas this week has focused on the apparent success Democrats had in securing Senate votes for passage, and the defeat in the House isn't yet seen as the end of the program. But if it is, it's a watershed: a state expanding coverage under the ACA, then rolling it back.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Global Marches Demand Action on Climate Change


Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.