GOP runoff clouds Arkansas Medicaid plan's future - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

GOP runoff clouds Arkansas Medicaid plan's future

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By ANDREW DeMILLO
Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, AR (AP) - The Arkansas "private option" expansion of Medicaid again faces an uncertain future after one of its key architects was defeated in a state Senate race cast as a referendum on the program.

Assisted living facility owner Scott Flippo defeated state Rep. John Burris in Tuesday's Republican runoff for a north Arkansas state Senate seat. The race had focused on Flippo's opposition to the state's plan to use federal Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for the poor.

The defeat is a setback for the program that Burris helped craft as a conservative alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law. There is no Democrat running for the state Senate seat in the fall.

Keeping the private option alive will require three-fourths support in the House and Senate next year.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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