Potential Battles Loom Over Arkansas Medicaid Expansion Plans
Although Gov. Asa Hutchinson's proposal hasn't faced vocal opposition yet, that doesn't mean the path is clear to impose new restrictions on the Medicaid expansion program known as the private option. And pressure is building in Republican states to expand Medicaid.
Fights Over Medicaid Expected In 2016
Gov. Asa Hutchinson encountered no vocal opposition last week when he outlined to a legislative task force his plan for a modified version of Medicaid expansion and his goal of cutting $835 million in costs from the traditional Medicaid program over five years — but that doesn’t mean fights aren’t coming. ... Hutchinson wants to impose new restrictions on the Medicaid expansion program known as the private option .... To get the changes approved, Hutchinson will need to obtain federal waivers and — perhaps a bigger hurdle — win over both supporters and opponents of the current program. “Some of these things sound great, but administratively the costs to them outweigh any benefit that you get from them,” said Sen. Keith Ingram, D-West Memphis, a member of the task force and a supporter of the private option. (Lyon, 12/20)
GOP States Pressured To Expand Medicaid Under Obamacare
Pressure is building on some of the remaining 20 states that have yet to take advantage of federal dollars available to expand Medicaid programs for poor Americans under the Affordable Care Act. ... A snapshot of the pressure on the 20 states still opposed to Medicaid expansion can be seen this month in Kansas where GOP lawmakers and Republican Governor Sam Brownback have faced an onslaught of lobbying from hospitals in the state, advocates for the uninsured, media and Kathleen Sebelius, Kansas’ former Democratic governor and the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services in President Obama’s first term. (Japsen, 12/20)