Cook, Reed Discuss Private Option, Political Races

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 66 views 

Republican strategist Clint Reed with Impact Management Group and Democratic strategist Michael Cook, who blogs for Talk Business, discussed and debated the politics of the private option, moves in the Lt. Governor’s race, and the new ad wars in the Governor’s race.

Appearing on Talk Business Sunday night, Reed said that the funding for the private option – which will be voted on Tuesday in the Arkansas House – will be close.

“I think folks are trying to feel their way through the session right now – what can and cannot be done, especially within the policy debate but also within the political debate,” said Reed.

He says that rightly or wrongly the private option is suffering from fallout related to the botched healthcare.gov web site launch. Reed compares healthcare.gov’s failed launch to Pres. Bush’s “Katrina moment.”

“I think what’s remarkable about all this is that the private option had good support coming out of the regular session,” said Reed.

Cook said the amendments being proposed and voted on Tuesday, particularly the inability for the state to advertise or steer applicants to the private option plans, makes little sense.

“To have this major state program but not tell anyone about it – let’s not have any programs to make sure that the people who need this help, let’s don’t tell them about it, let’s keep it a secret – probably not the best option, but I do agree with Clint. People are trying to figure out how to fix this problem, this situation,” Cook said.

Reed also added that the private option vote will be a tricky hurdle in the upcoming Republican legislative primaries.

“It’s the 30 second sound bite of having to explain something that people can understand very simply. This is not something you can do on a ride up an elevator. It takes a little time, it takes some understanding,” said Reed.

With people busy in their personal lives and the dominating fractious national political environment, Reed says the lines are “getting blurred” in understanding how the private option is an adaptation of the federal health care law.

Reed’s firm, Impact Management Group, released some polling that shows how messaging can influence voter views on the private option. Read more from our content partner, The City Wire, at this link.

Watch more of Cook’s and Reed’s comments in the video below.