Arkansas Medicaid Compromise Rejected

The Arkansas House failed Tuesday to renew the state's compromise Medicaid expansion plan, leaving in limbo the future of a program heralded as a model for Republican-leaning states to implement the federal health overhaul.

The Arkansas House failed Tuesday to renew the state's compromise Medicaid expansion plan, leaving in limbo the future of a program heralded as a model for Republican-leaning states to implement the federal health overhaul.

The House voted 70-27 to reauthorize funding for the "private option," falling five votes shy of the 75 needed in the 100-member chamber to continue the program. Under the private option, Arkansas is using federal Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for thousands of low-income residents. The program was approved last year as an alternative to expanding Medicaid's enrollment under the federal health law.

House Speaker Davy Carter, a supporter of the private option, said representatives would take up the bill again Wednesday and each day of the session after that until it passes. Carter said he's not willing to negotiate further changes to the program.

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Source: Modern Healthcare