Arkansas GOP Rep. Wants To Keep Residents From Learning About Obamacare

February 18, 2014 6:54 p.m.

Arkansas state Rep. Nate Bell (R) dislikes Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion so much he wants to prevent state officials from educating uninsured residents about their options.

“We’re trying to create a barrier to enrollment,” Bell told the Arkansas Times about an amendment he introduced to a bill that would have extended funding for the state’s Medicaid expansion. “[W]ithout active marketing, you probably get declining enrollment.”

The bill to fund the state’s Medicaid expansion failed in the Arkansas House on Tuesday, but it could come up for a vote again. Bell opposed the bill, but said he still wanted to try to curb spending if funding went through.

“In general, as a conservative,” he said, “if I have the opportunity to reduce government spending in a program from what’s projected … I’m probably going to take that deal.”

The amendment would ban the state from spending money promoting Obamacare and the Medicaid expansion, and it would end the state’s program for “navigators,” those hired to help people sign up on the health care marketplace. Funding for outreach mostly comes from the federal government, but the amendment would keep Arkansas from spending that money.

[H/t Think Progress]

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