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      Ark. Medicaid faces nearly $200M funding gap

      By ANDREW DeMILLOAssociated Press

      LITTLE ROCK (AP) - State finance officials say Arkansas' Medicaid program faces a nearly $200 million gap in state funding next year.

      The Department of Human Services on Tuesday told members of the Joint Budget Committee it needed $359 million in additional funding from the state for its Medicaid program next year. Gov. Mike Beebe has proposed using $90 million in general revenue and $70 million from the state surplus to fill the gap for the budget year that begins July 1, 2013.

      The latest budget figures came out a week after Republicans won control of the Arkansas Legislature for the first time since Reconstruction. GOP leaders have said they want to address the shortfall before taking up a proposal to expand Medicaid under the federal health care law.

      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)