State of Arkansas Archives: on Health Care


Tom Cotton: Supreme Court got it wrong o ObamaCare individual mandate

Q: There's a lawsuit to overturn Obamacare. Would you hope that a justice appointed by Donald Trump would vote to end to overturn the Affordable Care Act?

COTTON: Well, I think the Supreme Court got that case wrong eight years ago, especially on the so-called individual mandate which fined Americans for not being able to afford health insurance the federal government made unaffordable in the first place. That's one reason I led the charge in Congress to repeal the individual mandate, which had fined more than 7 million Americans. That case, however, is being argued right after the election. It's not clear to me yet whether we will have a new justice confirmed, so I can't speculate on how the court is going to rule on that particular case or if this nominee will be seated in time to rule on that case.

Source: Fox News Sunday on 2020 Arkansas Senate race Sep 20, 2020

Dan Whitfield: Medicare for All--human misery should never be monetized

The average Arkansan family will pay $440/YEAR which will insure EVERY member in their household under Medicare For All. The time has come for America to follow every other industrialized nation and give its citizens universal healthcare. Our current health system is putting profits above the health of Americans. Human misery should never be monetized.
Source: 2020 Arkansas Senate campaign website DanWhitCongress.us Jun 8, 2020

Dan Whitfield: Coronavirus: China is not the enemy; COVID-19 is

Dan Whitfield, an independent running against Cotton in 2020, tweeted, "As [Cotton] continues to spew racism and hatred we must remember that China is not our enemy, the COVID-19 Corona virus is."

"Defeating this common worldwide enemy is going to take all of our nations working together," Whitfield said. "We can not afford to warmonger against a people that are suffering just as we are."

Source: THV11 Digital on 2020 Arkansas Senate race Jun 2, 2020

Tom Cotton: Introduced bill to cut off purchase of China-made drugs

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) & Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) have introduced a bill to end the U.S. being dependent on Chinese drugs. "Our bill would require federal entities like the Department of Defense, VA hospitals, Medicare and Medicaid to cut off purchases of drugs with Chinese ingredients no later than 2025," they wrote. "This requirement would phase in over a period of years to give drug companies time to adjust, but would put clear pressure on importers to stop doing business with the CCP."
Source: Newsmax, "China's Drugs", on 2020 Arkansas Senate race Mar 25, 2020

Dan Whitfield: Universal healthcare, like every other industrialized nation

Medicare for All: The time has come for America to follow every other industrialized nation and give its citizens universal healthcare. Our current health system is putting profits above the health of Americans. Citizens are literally dying because they can't afford their prescription drugs! The working class is spending 10-20% of their total income on health insurance. There is not a single country on Earth that has reverted from a single payer health insurance to a private system.
Source: 2020 Arkansas Senate campaign website DanWhitCongress.us Nov 30, 2019

Josh Mahony: Supports public option; preserve private health insurance

Mahoney wants to keep "the best parts" of the Affordable Care Act, especially the Medicaid funding he said keeps many rural Arkansas hospitals open. He supports a public option for health care coverage and would preserve the private health insurance system for those who want and can afford it.

"Nobody in the United States who has insurance in fact should be in a position where they're an illness away from losing everything they own," Mahony said.

Source: Texarkana Gazette on 2020 Arkansas Senate race Jul 27, 2019

Mark West: Oppose ObamaCare

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Expand ObamaCare"?

A: Oppose

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Arkansas governor candidate Apr 28, 2018

Asa Hutchinson: Work requirement for Medicaid

I expect approval from Washington before the legislative session ends on our request to implement a work requirement for the Arkansas Works program. If you are able-bodied and of working age--with no dependents--you should be working or in training. The only long-lasting solution to lowering the cost of Medicaid is to help more people earn their way off.
Source: 2018 Arkansas State of the State address Feb 12, 2018

Jared Henderson: Support Arkansas Works; concentrate on reducing premiums

On healthcare--"I think that the direction we're taking on Arkansas Works [the state ObamaCare program], I largely agree with and I am happy to give credit where credit's due on that front. I think that the most important thing in healthcare right now that's not being talked about is the cost of insurance premiums."
Source: TB&P TalkBusiness.net on 2018 Arkansas Gubernatorial race Dec 31, 2017

Asa Hutchinson: $5M for Mental Health Stabilization Centers

I ask you also to remember those who are challenged with mental illness. I've asked for $5 million to be set aside in the budget for Mental Health Stabilization Centers and crisis intervention training. That will be a start in helping our law enforcement community and those who deal with crisis circumstances to identify mental illness, to identify the help that is needed and to provide that help.
Source: 2017 Arkansas State of the State address Jan 10, 2017

Curtis Coleman: I will never vote to fund ObamaCare

ObamaCare must be repealed. I will never vote to fund ObamaCare. I will support legislation that returns market mechanisms to the healthcare market.
Source: 2016 Arkansas Senate campaign website, CurtisColeman.com Nov 11, 2015

Conner Eldridge: Improve ObamaCare rather than distractions about repeal

Senate Democratic hopeful Conner Eldridge is calling efforts to repeal the federal health overhaul a "distraction," and says the focus should be on improving the law. The former U.S. attorney on Wednesday stopped short of saying whether he would have voted for the health care law when it was approved in 2010.

"I think efforts at repeal right now are a distraction," Eldridge said after announcing his candidacy. "I do think there are flaws in the law, there are problems with the law, and I would be focused and will be focused as a senator on correcting and fixing some of the real problems that are in that law."

Boozman and the rest of the state's all-GOP congressional delegation have repeatedly called for the law's repeal. Boozman unseated Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln in 2010, in a race that focused primarily on her support of the law.

Source: Associated Press on 2016 Arkansas Senate race Sep 10, 2015

French Hill: ObamaCare is a $2.2 trillion mistake

ObamaCare is more than just a malfunctioning website--it is a $2.2 trillion mistake. Big government, "one size fits all" solutions simply do not work in our large, complex country. This law is harming Americans with fewer choices, higher healthcare costs and countless tax increases. It is also chipping away at the physician/patient relationship. We need to repeal and replace it with reforms that lower healthcare costs for all Arkansans. We need to reject the ever-expanding culture of dependency and encourage our able-bodied citizens to pursue lives of virtue, hard work, and civic service.

We must also embrace reforms that reward quality healthcare, encourage healthy living, and minimize waste through patient choice, information, transparent pricing, and healthcare ownership. We need a private insurance market that allows for flexibility, portability, and choice.

Source: 2014 Arkansas House campaign website, ElectFrench.com Nov 4, 2014

Tom Cotton: AdWatch: No, Cotton won't end Medicare guarantee

Voice-over for new Senate Majority PAC ad attacking Rep. Tom Cotton (R), who is challenging Sen. Mark Pryor (D): "Cotton wants to end Medicare's guarantee, giving billions in profits to insurance companies."

Senate Majority PAC seems stuck in a time warp on this talking point, referring back to an older version of the House Republican plan to transform the health-care system for the elderly by offering beneficiaries help in buying private insurance, known as "premium support." The plan was substantially changed in 2012 to include an option for seniors to keep the traditional fee-for-service Medicare plan if they preferred. So the "guarantee" is now there. (Claiming a federal program has a "guarantee" is also odd because a future Congress can change the terms of any program.)

The Pinocchio Test: The Medicare claims are so stale--and so repeatedly discredited--we can assume that polling indicates that the language is effective in moving voters, despite its falsity. Four Pinocchios

Source: Washington Post AdWatch on 2014 Arkansas Senate race Apr 1, 2014

Mike Beebe: Expand state Medicaid, but with low-income private option

Gov. Mike Beebe has signed into law a measure reauthorizing Arkansas' compromise Medicaid expansion for another year. Beebe on Friday signed the budget bill for the "private option" plan that was approved last year as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law.

Through the private option, Arkansas is using federal Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents. Nearly 94,000 people are receiving subsidized insurance through the program, the first of its kind approved by the federal government. The program's future had been in jeopardy, but survived a defunding push in the House earlier this week.

Source: Arkansas Business e-zine on 2014 Arkansas gubernatorial race Feb 24, 2014

Mark Pryor: AdWatch: False that Medicare vouchers increase seniors' cost

The main takeaway from a recent campaign ad from Sen. Mark Pryor is that Republican challenger Rep. Tom Cotton is changing Medicare as we know it. A Feb. 5 television ad features Courtney, a young woman who's "never been really political."

"It says here Cotton voted in Congress to change Medicare into a voucher system that will increase out-of-pocket expenses for every senior in Arkansas," Courtney said, pointing to her laptop. "Thousands of dollars every year. My grandma and grandpa can't afford that, and neither can my parents." The facts?

Source: PolitiFact AdWatch on 2014 Arkansas Senate race Feb 5, 2014

Tom Cotton: AdWatch: Cotton supports Medicare "premium support" vouchers

Mark Pryor's TV ad says, "Cotton voted in Congress to change Medicare into a voucher system that will increase out-of-pocket expenses for every senior." PolitiFact's fact checking:
Source: PolitiFact AdWatch on 2014 Arkansas Senate race Feb 5, 2014

Asa Hutchinson: A lot of budget "fuzziness" if private option is not renewed

Gov. Mike Beebe spoke at the winter conference of the Arkansas Sheriffs' Association a day after Hutchinson spoke to the same group. Hutchinson told the sheriffs, when asked about the possibility of budget cuts if the private option is not renewed this year, that he believes "the numbers are very, very loose." He told reporters later that "I think there's a lot of fuzziness on what may or may not happen" if the private option is not renewed.

Beebe told the sheriffs there is no "fuzziness" to his administration's estimate of $89 million in expected savings from the so-called private option, emphatically rejecting Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson's description of it by that term. "It's not hype. It's not B.S. It's plain old arithmetic," he said.

The private option is the state's program that uses federal Medicaid money to provide private health insurance to low-income Arkansans. About 85,000 people have enrolled so far.

Source: Arkansas News on 2014 Arkansas gubernatorial race Jan 28, 2014

Mike Ross: 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

Mike Ross: 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 PacWatch: 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

Bruce Westerman: No public option; no individual mandates

Q: Do you support a universally-accessible, publicly-administered health insurance option?

A: No.

Q: Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support interstate health insurance compacts?

A: Yes.

Q: Should individuals be required to purchase health care insurance?

A: No.

Q: Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?

A: Yes.

Source: Arkansas Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

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.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Health Care.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Health Care:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Please consider a donation to OnTheIssues.org!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Jan 27, 2021