Ark. Republicans consider unusual health stand

By ANDREW DeMILLOAssociated Press

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Arkansas Republicans who denounced President Barack Obama's health care overhaul are now taking the usual step of considering expanding government health care in the state.

The Republicans won control of the Legislature for the first time in 138 years in this year's election. They are considering expanding Medicaid, the health program for the poor, to include more low income families. Republican leaders say the expansion could be affordable if they can charge co-pays for some recipients and use other cost-containment measures. It isn't clear whether the federal government will accept those ideas. Republicans in other states have rejected the expansion outright.

Obama's health plan originally provided for expanding Medicaid, but the Supreme Court this year gave states the right to opt out because they share some of the program's costs.

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