Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 28, 2014

Arkansas ‘Private Option’ of Medicaid Expansion Could Derail

Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion compromise — viewed as an example of an innovative bipartisan alternative to the Obamacare Medicaid expansion — is in danger of falling apart.

National Journal: The “private option” plan “would use federal funding to provide health coverage to the state’s low-income residents.”

“Arkansas has influenced other states to attempt a similar private model. Iowa’s waiver has been approved, Pennsylvania is expected to submit its own to the administration shortly, and New Hampshire and Utah are both considering their own versions of the approach.”

“The state law only funded the program through June 30 of this year. To keep it going, the Legislature has to vote annually to renew the funding. If they don’t, program participants will lose their insurance coverage starting July 1.”

Public opinion on the issue is inconclusive.

TPM: “A new poll found that Arkansans support the so-called private option and want to continue it — 48 percent to 33 percent — if the question doesn’t mention that the state adopted it through Obamacare.”

“But if you add a reference to Obamacare, support drops significantly: 35 percent of residents support it and 39 percent oppose.”

  • Gregory Williams

    The conservative scams start falling apart FIVE MONTHS before an election? Their alternative to fully implementing Obamacare comes with time limits and requires the YEARLY approval of a conservative controlled state to continue? How are people supposed to plan for their care when the party that hates people having medical care will play games with the process every year?

    The FEDS should move to de-certify the Arkansas style plans because it does not meet long term needs and does not allow consumers to have certainty in being able to plan for continuing care needs or even for basic yearly heath care needs.

    All the republicans did in Arkansas did was come up with a way to hurt their own people every year by threatening their health care access every year … when it looks like they will lose an election they can harm the citizens months before an election and then they will turn around and blame democrats for MAKING them hurt the most vulnerable people in the state… the people they already hate for not being rich.

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