Beebe: Don't delay Medicaid vote until next year

By ANDREW DeMILLOAssociated Press

NORTH LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe says he's opposed to delaying a vote on expanding Medicaid's eligibility until next year's session, but says he won't rush lawmakers on when to consider the issue.

Beebe told reporters Monday that he wants lawmakers to vote on the Medicaid expansion during this year's session rather than wait until next year. The House and Senate convene next year for a session focused primarily on the state's budget, and some legislators have suggested the expansion vote can wait until then.

Beebe is a Democrat who supports expansion, but has faced resistance from the Republican-led House and Senate. He told the Arkansas County Judges Association that he faces an uphill fight in getting the three-fourths vote needed for expansion to pass.

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)