The Latest: GOP senators block Arkansas Medicaid funding - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

The Latest: GOP senators block Arkansas Medicaid funding

(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Latest on legislation that would fund Arkansas' hybrid Medicaid expansion that provides health coverage to 250,000 people (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

Republican opponents of Arkansas' hybrid Medicaid expansion have blocked funding for the expanded coverage and a host of other programs for the poor and disabled.

The Senate on Thursday voted 25-10 in favor of the Medicaid budget bill funding the hybrid expansion, two votes shy of the 27 needed for passage. It was unclear when supporters would try another vote on the bill, and the Senate sent the measure back to the Joint Budget Committee.

The vote comes less than a week after lawmakers approved Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson's plan to keep and rework the hybrid expansion, which uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for the poor. More than 250,000 people are on the program, which was created three years ago as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law.

6:10 a.m.

Arkansas lawmakers are taking up the funding bill for the state's hybrid Medicaid expansion, despite predictions that opponents have enough votes to block the expanded coverage for thousands of poor people.

The Senate was expected Thursday to take up the Medicaid budget bill, which includes funding for the hybrid expansion. The program uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents.

The Legislature last week approved Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson's plan to keep and rework the hybrid expansion, but the vote was shy of the three-fourths support that the funding bill will need.

Hutchinson and legislative leaders have warned that state agencies would face significant budget cuts if the expanded coverage ends.

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