(December 2011) Arkansas policymakers, pressed by fiscal conservatives have rejected an expansion of nationalized medical insurance by disbanding seven advisory groups seeking to establish a state-operated health exchange.


State officials tried to launch the exchange with a $1 million federal grant but fiscal conservatives objected to additional funding, noting the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the constitutionality of nationalized insurance.


Government Misses Forecast


Proponents of nationalized medical insurance were proposing the state exchange though they have dramatically missed their own forecast for enrolling individuals with pre-existing conditions. Arkansas officials estimated 2,500 individuals with pre-existing conditions would participate.  But the most recent data1 released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows only 310 Arkansans enrolled through September 30.


How will Arkansas policymakers establish a state-operated health exchange when they have proven incapable of estimating demand for a less complex component of nationalized medical insurance?


Fatal Conceit Remains


Arkansas officials are afflicted with the fatal conceit2 identified decades ago by F.A. Hayek, the 1974 Nobel Economics laureate.  Hayek spent time at the Univ. of Arkansas in 1950, and terms “fatal conceit” the idea that “man is able to shape the world around him according to his wishes.”  Officials overlook that civilization evolved in a spontaneous order, not through central planning. 


–Greg Kaza

1 http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/2011/11/pcip11182011a.html


2 Hayek, F.A. 1988. The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism (Chicago) Univ. of Chicago Press