Ark. legislators seek details on Medicaid deal

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Republican legislators who had resisted expanding Medicaid in Arkansas say they're encouraged by a new plan that would allow funds from the federal-state program to purchase private insurance for the newly eligible, but say they need more details on how such a system would work.

The announcement last week that the Obama administration had given Arkansas the OK to pursue the plan as an alternative approach to expanding Medicaid's eligibility alters a debate that legislators had said would be the top issue of this legislative session. But state officials and legislators say the idea still has hurdles to face in a majority-Republican Legislature that has generally opposed a straight-up expansion of Medicaid.

The chairs of the Senate and House health committees say they like the concept, but have questions.