There is little doubt that Mark Pryor finds himself stuck between Little Rock and a hard place in Washington these days. In order to win re-election in Arkansas next year, the incumbent Democrat has to distance himself from Barack Obama and his agenda while explaining his votes to enact ObamaCare and the stimulus bill. One might expect some nuance from Pryor in achieving the delicate balance necessary to convince red-state voters to send Pryor back as a vote in favor of the Obama-Harry Reid agenda in the upper chamber. Instead, Pryor doubles down on his support for ObamaCare, calling the results “amazing” for Arkansans (via the Weekly Standard):
Mark Pryor, the two-term Democratic senator up for reelection next year, says Obamacare has “been an amazing success story” in his state of Arkansas.
“I would say if you want a good opinion about Obamacare, go right here to Mercy Hospital and ask them how they feel about it,” Pryor told news affiliate KHOG. “It’s been an amazing success story so far.”
Not all Arkansas providers feel that way. Perhaps Pryor should ask the 170 workers laid off last month from Baptist Health, which explicitly blamed the Affordable Care Act for the need to downsize:
Little Rock-based Baptist Health System says it will lay off 170 workers across its statewide health care network and one industry leader says more hospitals could follow suit. …
Bo Ryall, President and CEO of the Arkansas Hospital Association, said the Baptist Health layoffs are part of a national trend in recent months due to cuts made by the Affordable Care Act and this year’s federal sequestration.
The Affordable Care Act reduced national Medicare funding by $155 billion over a 10-year period that starts this year, Ryall said. He added that the fiscal impact on Arkansas was roughly $2 billion.
Amazing! And did we mention that Baptist Health is a non-profit?
Yesterday, I wrote that Pryor was practically launching Tom Cotton’s GOP candidacy for him. Now he’s cutting ads for Cotton, too. Cotton didn’t hesitate to use Pryor’s assistance in his opening campaign address (via Power Line):
Just four days ago, Mark Pryor even said it would be a “waste” of a Senate seat to elect a senator to oppose Barack Obama. Well, I’ll put it very simply: Do you agree with Barack Obama 90% of the time? If so, Mark Pryor is your man. If not, stand with me in this election and I’ll stand with Arkansas in the United States Senate.
And Arkansans who don’t believe ObamaCare is “amazing” should consider the same choice. This could end up being a landslide under those circumstances, and one that won’t be “amazing” for the very generous Pryor.