Is John Cooper The Only GOP Candidate That Opposes AR Private Option?

(for Bookout's Senate seat)


Excerpts of  Nic Horton's interview with the three GOP candidates on the Obamacare AR Private Option Medicaid Expansion are cut and pasted below.  I understand that Chad Niell is now saying he has been misquoted, and Dan Sullivan is still being ambiguous about his stand on the Private Option. Nic Horton's interviews shed a great deal of light on the candidates' positions.


Nic Horton interview with GOP Candidate Chad Niell

Talk Business columnist Jason Tolbert wrote last week that “Niell has not yet made a decision on the private option and is still reviewing the law.” Democrat-Gazette reporter Mike Wickline wrote Monday that Niell “wants to read the measure before taking a stand on it”; last week, Wickline wrote that both “Niell and Sullivan said they need more information on the so-called private option before they take a stance on it.” Was Niell really suggesting that he’d been misrepresented about the same matter in the same way in three different news articles? More precisely: had Niell actually been triply misrepresented about the “private option,” or was it just that he eventually realized that his three prior remarks were politically inconvenient?

In an attempt to figure out what Niell thought was “not true,” I called him up. I began by reading back part of his post on Facebook to him. He responded emphatically by saying, “What more do I need to say? What more do I need to say?” I soon discovered, however, that apparently he needed to say a great deal more.

After getting some very ambiguous answers, Nic Horton asked this question.

If “private option” funding could be separated from the DHS budget, would Niell support blocking the funding? He told me:

Absolutely. I mean, I can’t tell you how I would’ve voted before, and I can’t tell you how I’m going to vote right now. We have to get in there and see what we can do.

 If you want to read the entire very interesting  Nic Horton interview with Chad Niell, see this link:

Nic Horton's interview with GOP candidate Dan Sullivan:

NH: “Last question: you mentioned health care several times. I know the ‘private option’ is a big question for a lot of candidates out there and a lot of voters. Where do you stand on the ‘private option’ at this point?”

DS: “That’s done. And I’m not going to look backwards. I think I’ve found a lot of questions: ‘Would you have voted for it? Would you have voted against it?’ I’m going to look forwards. Uh...we need to advance what we have. We need to move the ball down the field and...trying to figure out how I would’ve made call in the...historically, in the past, doesn’t help us advance the ball...

NH: “So, as the private option stands right now, you support it going forward?”

DS: “Well I think we’re going to, uh...that’s going to be the question coming up. We just don’t have all the information yet. I think, ya know, when October gets here, people will start to sign up for that. It’s going to make it more difficult, not less. We’re hearing — things are going on in businesses right now, uh, with workers’ hours cut. Businesses having to lay people off just over the health care. I think there will be a lot of information that comes out between now and, uh, February, that are going to impact how we respond to that. But again, I’m not prepared to say I’m going to respond one way or the other without the information there.”

For rest of very interesting interview and more interesting ambiguous answers see this link:

Nic Horton interview with GOP Candidate John Cooper: 

In an interview with The Arkansas Project, Cooper said the state would have been better off to not expand Medicaid in the recent legislative session and outlined a thorough list of concerns about the ‘private option’ version of that expansion. So good, in fact, that I wanted to reproduce it in full:  ....Conclusion, I have never been in favor of it in any fashion. I cannot presently see any way that I could have supported the P.O. expansion.

Last line of John Cooper's statements only copied and pasted here. See major points that Horton mentions and other stances  by Cooper at this link:

In speeches to the Landlord Association in Jonesboro, September 9 by these three candidates, John Cooper stated: "I do oppose the Obamacare Private Option.  I think I am the only one taking a firm position on that.  I will vote against it. "  Dan Sullivan nor Chad Niell refuted that statement even though they had plenty of opportunity in a fairly  informal question and answer period to do so, nor did they even mention the Private Option in their speeches or answers to questions.

I will be sending transcripts of those speeches in next email tomorrow.  


Posted by Women Action Group,  September 16, 2013