Ark. GOP leader floats special session on Medicaid

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The top Republican in the Arkansas House says he thinks the Legislature should wait until a special session to deal with the budget bill for a proposal to expand health insurance to low-income Arkansans. Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe says he still wants lawmakers to deal with the issue during the regular session.

House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman said Monday he thinks the best approach on addressing the proposal is to take up the enabling legislation during the regular session but come back for a special session to vote on the appropriation bill for it.

Beebe has said the federal government gave Arkansas permission to use federal dollars to buy private insurance for low-income workers newly eligible for Medicaid under the health care law.

Ark. Medicaid faces nearly $200M funding gap (Nov. 13)
Ark. Medicaid faces 'significant' cuts in services (Nov. 13)
Beebe: Medicaid expansion can spare nursing homes (Nov. 14)
Ark. surgeon general addresses Medicaid expansion (Nov. 27)
Beebe: Vote on Medicaid expansion during regular session (Jan. 3)
Medicaid expansion hot topic leading up to general assembly (Jan. 7)
Focus on Medicaid as Ark. session begins (Jan. 14)
Beebe: Medicaid shortfall not as large as anticipated (Jan. 15)
Ark. lawmakers seek more details on Medicaid (Jan. 17)
Medicaid shortfall possibly $60 million less than expected (Jan. 17)
Impact of Medicaid expansion on rural hospitals (Jan. 25)
Ark. House GOP leader: Medicaid a work in progress (Jan. 28)
Beebe: Don't delay Medicaid vote until next year (Feb. 11)
Officials tout 'Medicaid contraction' (March 1)
Ark. lawmakers approve contract on Medicaid (March 5)
Ark. GOP leader floats special session on Medicaid (March 25)
Westerman: Delay insurance vote until next year (April 1)
Ark. panel OKs Medicaid money for private option (April 3)
House, Senate approve "private option" Medicaid expansion, bills head to governor (April 17)
Arkansas governor to sign Medicaid bill Monday (April 18)
Ark. Gov. signs 'private option' plan into law (April 23)