Republican Rep. Josh Miller of Heber Springs caught my attention last week with an impassioned speech against Medicaid expansion for Arkansas’s working poor. I knew Miller, who has a rental housing business, was a recipient of significant past and current Medicaid help himself. I asked him to talk about it. He responded candidly and extensively about how he suffered a serious injury, the help he received from Medicaid and how he views his situation and that of others somewhat differently.

My column this week on our talk is already stirring up quite a bit of discussion on our Facebook page. Republican apologists have risen reflexively to Miller’s defense, calling the column an attack on the disabled. It is no such thing. I pay tribute to his grit. He’s a shining example of the good that can come from government’s helping hand. I do disagree with his viewpoint on the legislation and that of the other 26 holdouts in the House blocking the legislation. It has nothing to do with whether they walk around or use a wheelchair. It is a political crutch to defend Miller on anything other than the merits of the argument. 


UPDATE: I heard from Miller about the article.

Josh Miller
7:15 PM (10 minutes ago)

Great article! I’ll still buy your lunch sometime. That offer stands. I look forward to getting better acquainted. Hope you have a good evening.
Sent from my iPhone

I told him I appreciated his time and candor and admired his triumph over a setback. And, if only he’d change his mind on the private option, all would be well.