Arkansas Democrats Respond to Gov. Hutchinson's Support of Cassidy-Graham Health Care Bill
LITTLE ROCK - The Democratic Party of Arkansas today released a statement regarding the newly-revived Republican push to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and Gov. Hutchinson's unconditional support of the legislation known as the Cassidy-Graham bill.
Statement from Party Chairman Michael John Gray:
"I give credit where credit is due. I commended the leadership Governor Hutchinson showed in the past on the health care issue when he worked with both sides to continue Medicaid Expansion under the new name “Arkansas Works.” The Governor's past leadership on this issue only underscores how disappointing it is that he is willing to embroil himself in such a desperate, extremely-partisan legislative Hail Mary that would end Medicaid Expansion in Arkansas as we know it.
"This is an about-face from Governor Hutchinson who as recently as July implored leaders from both parties to come together to work deliberatively towards strengthening the Affordable Care Act and in turn “Arkansas Works.” Even yesterday, he admitted that Arkansas Works remains in a “good position” if the Graham-Cassidy bill fails. On that point, we agree wholeheartedly. But, the facts simply don’t line up with the promises Governor Hutchison made yesterday about the legislation.
"The American Medical Association, the group that represents the vast majority of our doctors in America, said this legislation violates their golden rule of 'first, do no harm.'
"James L Madara, the group’s CEO, elaborated, "We believe the Graham-Cassidy Amendment would result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance coverage, destabilize health insurance markets, and decrease access to affordable coverage and care.
"I urge Governor Hutchinson to reconsider his support for the Cassidy-Graham health care bill and return to his previous stance in support of bipartisan reforms to improve our health care system.
"I can promise you that if this legislation passes, it will be devastating to Arkansas. That is the truth."
Were Gov. Hutchinson to rescind his support of this legislation, he would join Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Governor John Kasich of Ohio, Governor Bill Walker of Alaska, Governor Steve Bullock of Montana, Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, Governor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana, Governor Brian Sandoval of Nevada, Governor Charles Baker of Massachusetts, and Governor Phil Scott of Vermont in doing so. (colorado.gov, Sept 19, 2017)
The American Hospital Association, the AARP, ALS Association, American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Arthritis Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, March of Dimes, Lutheran Services in America, National Health Council, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and Volunteers of America all oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill.