Steve Brawner / Talk Business & Politics

Steve Brawner is a freelance journalist and contributor to Talk Business & Politics.

He is also a syndicated columnist in 10 Arkansas newspapers.

You can email him at brawnersteve@mac.com or follow him on Twitter: @SteveBrawner.

telemedicine
www.rochester.edu

Should patients be able to receive medical care over the internet from a doctor with whom they’ve never had a face-to-face meeting? Under current Arkansas law, they can’t. 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge certified Tuesday (Sept. 8) the popular name and ballot title of a constitutional amendment that would reduce the number of amendments legislators can present to voters from three to one.

The popular name is “Curtail legislative amendments,” and the ballot title is “To reduce the number of constitutional amendments permitted the legislature from three to one by modifying Article 19, Section 22.”

Arkansas Department of Higher Education Logo.
adhe.edu / Arkansas Department of Higher Education

Gov. Asa Hutchinson today called on the state’s higher education leaders to help create a new funding formula for colleges and universities and said a portion of the state’s lottery scholarship should be targeted to adults, to minorities, and to those seeking a technical certificate.

Ben Carson in Little Rock during the Republican Presidential primary election of 2016.
KARK-TV 4

Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson touted his biography and called for a more self-sufficient, less dependent America, which he said is an “exceptional country” that, 200 years after its founding, put men on the moon.

“There’s a whole lot of people trying to get in here, and nobody trying to escape,” he said in a speech on the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol on Thursday.

Arkansas’ private option has reduced the state’s uninsured ranks, reduced uncompensated care, and strengthened the overall insurance marketplace serving other insurance recipients, a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation says.

The report, released on Wednesday, drew on data and on interviews conducted in April and May with state officials, medical providers, insurance carriers and advocates. The foundation analyzes national and global health policies.

petition signatures signature gathering
WESA

An Arkansas law moving up the deadline for independent candidates to present their petition signatures is constitutional because the state has a compelling interest in the earlier date, a district judge ruled Tuesday.

District Judge James Moody ruled that the law is needed to give the state time to process signatures, respond to litigation, and comply with federal law. He granted a summary judgment to the defendant, Mark Martin, Arkansas’ secretary of state. The case is Mark Moore, Michael Harrod, and William Chris Johnson v. Mark Martin.

Governor Asa Hutchinson John Selig Medicaid DHS Department of Human Services
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

The consultant hired by the Health Reform Legislative Task Force said Thursday that a standard 30-day deadline for responding to a request for income verification for Medicaid eligibility is “probably appropriate,” while Department of Human Services Director John Selig defended the state’s current 10-day deadline.

Governor Asa Hutchinson John Selig Medicaid DHS Department of Human Services
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson laid out a seven-point plan Wednesday that would continue Arkansas’ participation in the Medicaid expansion through the private option while requiring recipients to participate in employer-sponsored plans and pay premiums.

Hutchinson John Selig
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

The backlog of Medicaid and private option recipients has been eliminated, and the Department of Human Services again will begin sending out notices of termination letters to private option recipients deemed ineligible because of changes in income or because they did not respond to a request to verify their income.

eStem UALR
David Monteith / KUAR News

UALR and eStem Public Charter Schools announced a partnership Monday where eStem will educate students in grades 9-12 on UALR’s campus, where they will have the opportunity to earn a two-year associate’s degree. University officials said it’s an arrangement unlike any other in the nation.

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