Well, it looks like the private option will live for another year. It took an administrative parlor trick that would've made Harry Houdini green with envy, but the important thing is that it survived. On the bad side, this sordid little episode showed how much the Arkansas Legislature is beginning to act like Congress.
As I've mentioned many times before, Congress can't get anything done because of a group of about 40 or 50 members who are Tea Party crazies. They don't have enough votes to enact any of the draconian laws they crave, but they do have enough to block anything they don't like. And they don't like much of anything. The result is that we have 538 people drawing six figure salaries who are basically doing nothing. Hey, all of you conservatives who scream about welfare mothers and able bodied men not working, where's your outrage about that?
Back here in Arkansas, ten state senators were able to block the private option, even after a large majority of both Houses voted for it. They were even threatening to shut down state government. What they were displaying was a pure example of Tea Party ethics (there's an oxymoron for you). They were determined to vote against anything related to President Obama. It didn't matter to them that over 260,000 were about to lose health care. It didn't matter that small rural hospitals might have to close. It didn't matter to them that our highways couldn't be repaired. The only thing that mattered to them was that the private option was part of Obamacare, created by you-know-who, so it had to be part of his evil, socialist, Muslim plot to destroy America.
It will be interesting to see what the Republican Party, if it is still around, will do once there is no President Obama. Every current Republican in the State Legislature got there by running against him and his health care plan. If Hillary Clinton is the next President, it will be very hard for men in Congress to attack her for fear of being accused of bullying. No matter who the next President is, there is no way that Congress will be able to get away with disrespecting him or her the way they have Obama.
Of course, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will be inviting targets, but not nearly as effective as having a President to blame things on. Harry is almost as exciting as watching a snail race, and Nancy is an arrogant ultra liberal in a safe district. The best thing the Democrats could do for themselves and the country would be to replace both of them.
The reason I question whether or not the Republican Party will survive is because while the Koch Money Network primarily gives to Republicans, if one of them doesn't follow orders they will bankroll some Tea Party crazy to run against them. The Koch's are on the verge of taking the place of the Republican Party. Unless enough Republicans decide to fight the Koch's, that could very likely happen.
While we all sit back and celebrate the survival of the private option, or Arkansas Works, let me leave you with one final nugget about the Koch Money Network. While all of its billionaire members preach the virtues of hard work and self reliance, it turns out that just about every one of them inherited their fortunes.