Arkansas Legislature Passes Medicaid Expansion Funding

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LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) -- After failing to pass a bill preserving funding for Arkansas' Medicaid expansion last week, state legislators in the House and Senate came to an agreement Thursday (April 21) and passed an appropriation bill.

The House passed the funding for Gov. Asa Hutchinson's Arkansas Works with 76 votes to 13, which is one more than was needed. The Senate passed the funding legislation with the needed 27 votes Wednesday.

More than 250,000 Arkansans depend on the private option for health insurance. The private option uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for those who meet certain qualification. The program has been renamed Arkansas Works and includes changes and new restrictions, which were added by the governor.

Hutchinson signed the $8.4 billion bill after vetoing amended language that would have ended the funding for Arkansas Works by Dec. 31, therefore continuing the funding through fiscal 2017.