Legislators mull risk to health centers funding

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Directors of several community health centers are telling Arkansas legislators that they are concerned that they may lose funding under a state health care expansion plan.

Legislators on Thursday disagreed on whether revenue levels for the centers would be at risk under a plan to add a private insurance option to the state Medicaid program that would provide health insurance to 500,000 low-income Arkansans.

Public Health Committee Co-Chairman John Burris, a Republican from Harrison, argued that the patients in need of the most care would be placed under a separate funding designation.

The community health centers operate in medically underserved parts of the state. Center directors said the nonprofit organizations run on razor-thin margins and any drop in revenue would translate to cuts in services.

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