|Updated: 3/22/2010 9:14 am
||Published: 3/22/2010 9:04 am
Health care reform weighs heavily on the minds of Arkansans. But what exactly does the health care overhaul mean for us and lawmakers in the Natural State? FOX16's content partner Roby Brock, host of "Talk Business" weighed in on what the health care reform means for Arkansans.
Before we dive into specifics, what is the consensus of the average Arkansan on health care reform?
"We've been polling this question on a quarterly basis since last July and roughly about 2/3rds of Arkansans say they're opposed to the health care overhaul. As a matter of fact, in our last poll, we asked a very basic question: Based on what you know about the health care debate in Washington, do you support or oppose health care reform?"
"Again, more than 2/3rds opposed efforts. What that tells me, however, is that no matter how much or how little you know about the details in the health care debate, there is a larger mistrust of the federal government to enact health care reform."
There is so much detail in this health care overhaul legislation, what will be the impact on Arkansans?
"I think people need to be cautious to act with too much authority on what this legislation will do. First of all, there will be a lengthy period of time for rules and regulations to be debated and implemented to go along with the larger overall health care legislation. A lot of the impact of this bill - good or bad - will come through these regulations. But on a larger front: the intent of this legislation is to expand health care coverage to people who can't get it right now. That's younger people, for example," says Roby.
Three of 4 of Arkansas' Congressmen voted against the measure Sunday, what might this mean politically?
"Congressman Vic Snyder was the lone supporter. He's not running for re- election, so there won't be any real ramifications for him politically. I think he voted his conscience. Congressman Marion Berry voted no; he's retiring too. He had real issues with provisions of the bill related to abortion. Congressman Mike Ross is running for re-election. I think his no vote, which he declared early, is a reflection of his district's viewpoints. Cong. John Boozman, the lone Republican in Congress from Arkansas, voted no as did all Republicans."
How might we see this play out from here?
"There are really three groups of winners or losers in this debate. If you're left-of-center politically, you're probably not satisfied. The more liberal wing of the Democratic party was wanting health care reform to go further. Supporters of Pres. Obama will tout today's actions a victory - arguably Presidents have been calling for health care reform for nearly a century. Finally, I see Republicans getting a political advantage in today's votes. While they were wholesale against this health care reform, it will be a big issue for them to show their differences to voters in this fall's elections."