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Gov. Beebe on Private Option: "Even though they knew they should do it -- they couldn't"

<font size="2">LITTLE ROCK -- The biggest piece of legislation to come out of the 89th General Assembly was the Medicaid private option plan, and with most Democrats keeping quiet</font>
The biggest piece of legislation to come out of the 89th General Assembly was the Medicaid private option plan, and with most Democrats keeping quiet on the issue, all attention turned to the new majority and the division among its members.

Governor Mike Beebe says it was frustrating at times, yet interesting to watch.

"What was different is that the rolls were reversed. In the past years, it was Democrats versus Democrats on some of the controversial issues -- different wings, if you will, of the Democratic Party," said Beebe. "On this issue, the same thing in reverse occurred with the Republicans. It was Republicans versus Republicans, because it took a three-fourths vote."

Beebe also points out the members who he says "knew it was the right thing to do" but didn't do it.

"[There were] a lot of strong feelings about it -- a lot of people who voted against it. I don't want to call any names, but -- some of them were more public in terms of their names being quoted -- said...They knew that it was in good policy to do this because of the tax savings on business and because of what it does for hospitals and people, but they couldn't vote for it because their people didn't understand it, or their people were against it, or they ran against Obama care as part of their platform, and they just -- even though they knew they should do it -- they couldn't do it. We even had them say that in front of the television cameras," said Beebe.

And for some, according to Beebe, a second look at the legislation wasn't even an option.

"There were some people that were just against it for just -- they just hated Obama care so bad that they couldn't bring themselves to understand that this was different, and this was actually trying to make something better out of something that they thought was bad, and they just -- philosophically -- couldn't get there. But it was interesting to watch," added Beebe.

You'll hear from Beebe all week long right on KNWA Today as part of our exclusive series with the leader of the Natural State. Each day, we'll discuss an important issue that matters to Arkansas residents.

For the entire interview, click HERE.

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