Arkansas Senate approves compromise Medicaid plan - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Arkansas Senate approves compromise Medicaid plan

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ANDREW DeMILLO
Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, AR (AP) - The Arkansas Senate has voted to continue the state's compromise Medicaid expansion plan, sending the funding bill for the nationally-watched program to an uncertain fate in the House.

The Senate on Thursday voted 27-8 to reauthorize funding for the "private option" that was approved last year as an alternative to the Medicaid expansion under the federal health care law. Through the private option, Arkansas is using federal Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for thousands of low-income residents.

The measure needed at least 27 votes in the 35-member Senate.

Its future remains uncertain in the House, where identical legislation has failed twice. The 100-member chamber planned to vote on the proposal Thursday afternoon.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Arkansas lawmakers are to try again with legislation to keep the state's compromise Medicaid expansion alive, despite previous defeats in the state House.
The Senate and House are expected to vote Thursday on identical measures funding the "private option" that was approved last year as an alternative to the Medicaid expansion under the federal health law. Through the private option, Arkansas is using federal Medicaid money to purchase private insurance for low-income residents.

The legislation has failed to win enough support in two votes before the House this week. It needs 75 votes in the 100-member House and 27 in the 35-member Senate.

Arkansas was the first state to win federal approval for such a compromise and several other states are exploring or pursuing similar models.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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