Arkansas’ Obamacare Exchange – Summary

obamacare exchange2State Exchange” Act Summary:

WHY VOTERS SAID “NO –to Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace Act 2013

By Brenda Vassaur Taylor, Co-Founder of Conduit for Commerce


Act (using the word “Marketplace” rather than “Exchange”) establishes an independent non-profit organization which–

  • Does not pay any state or local taxes but has complete and independent Rule making authority;
  • Is not a government agency therefore is not subject to Arkansas law imposed on government agencies;
  • Is run by an independent 11 member board appointed to six year terms;
  • With only voter oversight being a 12 member Legislative Committee which may ask questions….with no control.

3 yr budget shows taxpayers’ dollars spent to implement government plan outside voter control:

  • Total of 12 employees–cost of $4.48 Million over 3 years—only 5 paid under $95,000 per year:
    • Top five employees starting annual salaries at –
      • $200,000 + $60,000 fringe benefits= $260,000 (Exec Director)
      • $150,000 + $45,000 fringe benefits=$195,000 (Director of Operations)
      • $120,000 + $36,000 fringe benefits=$156,000 (IT Manager)
      • $110,000 + $33,000 fringe benefits=$143,000 (Director of Finance)
      • $100,000 + $30,000 fringe benefits=$130,000 (Attorney Specialist)
      • plus a 3.5% COLA annual increase for all.
    • Consultant Fees of $7 Millionin addition to highly paid management team of 12 employees
    • Travel Expense $327,350 (Staff and Board Members-in state and out of state)
    • One time conference–$200,000
    • Other–$580,550 (not categorized.)
    • Contracts with Outside firms-Total of $113.7 Million (that is almost $114 million):
      • Media–$10 Million
      • To Plan Management Activities–$2.25 Million (in addition to what the 7 Million dollar Consultant and management employees will be paid to do)
      • Navigators to enroll folks and train them–$5 Million
      • Call Center–$15 Million
      • IT—$81.5 Million (we know how well that works)

Page 9 Exchange Budget:

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Page 6-Marketplace/Exchange is exempt from AR law…

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Page 8-Not required to give any financial impact statement to Legislature if it determines too costly to do so.

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Page 9-Marketplace may make rules and implement immediately as it determines necessary under its own determination and authority.

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Pages 9-10-Marketplace operates only is under the control of its 11 member Board of Directors who are appointed as follows:  3 by Governor (made by Beebe), 3 by President Pro Tempore (made by Michael Lamoureux) , 3 by Speaker of the House (Davy Carter)—with 4, 6, 8 year terms in each of three groups….and then rotate by 6 year terms; Insurance Commissioner; DHS Director.

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Page 18-AR Rules by Insurance Commissioner shall be overridden by Federal HHS rules.

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Page 19-20-A 12 member Legislative Oversight Committee made up of 6 appointed by Speaker and 6 appointed by President Pro Tempore of Senate—may meet quarterly and may ask Marketplace to report annually (Dec 15) on anything it thinks necessary.  (Review only)

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Page 20-21-Marketplace (Hybrid Partnership with Feds Exchange) may transfer its control to a newly established full blown State-Exchange (marketplace) when it determines it so desires after July 1, 2015 (unless interceding legislation prevents this.)

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Page 21—Intent of the 2013 Legislation is to establish a State Exchange.

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