One Arkansas group against the health care reform law plans to start a phone campaign this week. It's part of efforts to get a measure on the ballot in November to let Arkansans decide if they want to be part of the health care plan. Those with Secure Arkansas say the plan gives the government too much control over Health Care and personal choice. Ever since health care reform passed a week ago Secure Arkansas is fighting back.
"We have a lot of supporters that are wanting to see something done," said Secure Arkansas chairperson Jeannie Burlsworth.
Burlsworth says the group is starting a phone calling campaign Monday to Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's office. It's an effort to get him to approve language for an item they want on the ballot in November to give Arkansans a chance to decide whether they want to be a part of health care reform. If he approves it Secure Arkansas gets until July 2nd to gather the 77,000 signatures it needs to get the measure on the ballot.
"It's going to take active participation and it's going to take all they can do to fight this," said Burlsworth.
Now they're asking churches to help. Pastor Shane Knight will oversee that.
"It is the slow erosion of our freedoms that eventually will get to our sanctuaries and our pulpits," said Knight.
Despite these efforts by Secure Arkansas, Congressman Vic Snyder, the only representative from Arkansas to vote for the bill defends it. On his website he predicts, "middle class Arkansans with insurance will get more control over their health care choices, more power to hold insurance companies accountable for bad policies, and more affordable premiums."
No one knows if Arkansas could opt out of the new health care plan even if Secure Arkansas put a measure on the ballot. But Burlsworth says at the very least it would send a strong message from Arkansans. If they can't get the measure on the ballot they will file a lawsuit
against the federal government over health care reform, saying it's unconstitutional. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said the state of Arkansas will not join other states in filing a lawsuit like this because it would likely not come out in favor of Arkansas and many similar suits are likely being filed for political reasons.