By ANDREW DeMILLO and MICHAEL STRATFORDAssociated Press
LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Arkansas legislative leaders say they need more information about the flexibility the state will have if it expands Medicaid and better figures on how much of a shortfall the program faces as they wrapped up the first week of the session.
The Arkansas House and Senate recessed on Thursday for a 4-day weekend to mark the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Lawmakers convened on Monday for the start of this year's legislative session.
Senate President Michael Lamoureux said lawmakers want to know how much flexibility the state will have if it expands Medicaid's eligibility under the federal health care law. He also said lawmakers want a firmer number on the new projected shortfall the program faces this year.
Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe has urged lawmakers to support the expansion.CONTINUING COVERAGEArk. 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)