A spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Arkansas has just issued a statement disputing a report from KARK. As reported yesterday, KARK did a story on Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr’s opposition to the federal health care reform law. They asked for a response from the Democratic Party of Arkansas and reported the following…
But the Democratic Party of Arkansas disagrees. Spokeswoman Candace Martin said the party stands behind the health care law and its implementation and Democrats are ready for 2012.
"That wasn’t said by anyone in the interview," said Martin. "In fact the question wasn’t even asked, and a formal request to remove the misreported section of the report has been made."
So I asked Martin directly – Do you support the federal health care law?
"The Democratic Party of Arkansas isn’t an elected official or a court system; we’re a collection of people. Anytime you get a group of people together, there will be differing opinions; and Arkansas Democrats are split on this issue. Unless the Supreme Court overrules the law or Congress repeals it, the health care law remains, and we are concerned with Republicans’ willingness to allow the exchange be set up by the federal government instead of Arkansans," said Martin.
Martin also continued to push the DPA talking point on implementing the health care exchanges in Arkansas.
"Our focus is on Arkansas and Arkansas issues, including that any potential health care exchange be set up by Arkansans, not the federal government. That’s where we differ from the GOP. Republicans are playing politics by not allowing Arkansans to have control over the health care exchanges, and instead, Republicans are allowing the federal government to implement the health care exchange. Republicans would have Washington bureaucrats come in to set up the state exchange rather than Arkansans, and that’s just bad for Arkansas," said Martin.
But Katherine Vasilos, spokesperson for the Republican Party of Arkansas, had quite a different view.
"This is clearly why we haven’t seen a letter from House and Senate Democrats urging Governor Beebe to move forward with implementing a health insurance exchange, a key component to Obamacare," commented Vasilos.
"While Arkansas Republicans are committed to the repeal of Obamacare, the Democratic Party of Arkansas is hiding from the failed policies of Barack Obama. The voters of Arkansas deserve clarification as to what their true stance on Obamacare is. The fact that Arkansans can’t even get a straight answer from the Democratic Party on the President’s most important initiative further illustrates the difficulties Arkansas Democrats will have with Barack Obama at the top of the ticket in 2012."
UPDATE – It looks like KARK has given in to the Democratic Party and changed their report.
*In an earlier version of this story, we reported that the Democratic Party of Arkansas "stands behind the health care law and its implementation." The Democratic Party of Arkansas has asked for clarification.
The edited portion of the report now has the standard talking points on the federal health care exchanges.
*Democratic Party of Arkansas spokeswoman, Candice Martin says, "The Democratic Party of Arkansas does not support the federal government implementing the health care exchange in Arkansas. We believe the exchanges would be better run by Arkansans."
Noted – KARK has not said their first report is inaccurate as the Democratic Party argued. Interesting…