File this under holy shit Batman. Republicans in the state legislature, a minority of them actually, have three times now managed to kill an appropriations bill to keep the Insurance Department running, and the effects are going to be disastrous:
Joint Budget Committee Co-Chairman Kathy Webb, D-Little Rock, said that if the Insurance Department is not funded, the state will lose about $100 million in general revenue and thousands of people employed in the insurance industry will not be able to work in Arkansas.
Beebe said after the vote that for the first time in his memory, the Legislature could go home without a budget for a major state agency.
“It’s tragic. It will hurt a lot of people,” he said.
State insurance officials “collect a lot of money that ends up going to pay for school teachers and public schools and colleges, they regulate the insurance industry, they collect money that goes for policemen and firemen, local city and county police and fire pension funds. If they’re not there, all that’s gone,” Beebe told reporters.
Beebe said lawmakers who think they are fighting the federal government by voting against the bill are incorrect because if Arkansas does not set up its exchange, the federal government will do it and the state will lose control.
It could be worse than that. I used to sell life and supplemental health insurance…in a past life so to speak. Any plan that gets authorized, any company that’s going to operate in Arkansas, has to be approved by the Insurance Commissioner. I really can’t fathom just how far reaching the effect of this is going to be. Republicans have opened up Pandora’s box here in a big way and there’s really not much Arkansas Democrats can do to close the lid. That falls on the Republican Party in the House with their vote whipping, and if they can’t find a way to get five more votes on this one then they just royally screwed the whole state.
And all this in the name of keeping folks from getting health insurance under “Obamacare”. Wow…can you imagine what a state run by these nutcases would look like?