House passes Medicaid expansion funding; bill heads to Senate

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - A vote to fund the recently-passed Medicaid expansion in the State of Arkansas squeaked by in the House Tuesday morning with just two votes to spare.

A supermajority, 75 votes, is needed to pass a funding bill. On Monday, the bill got only 69 but supporters whipped up some extra votes and passed the bill with 77 Tuesday morning.

According to the Associated Press, nine Republicans changed their position between the two votes.

  • Changed from "no" to "yes"
    • Rep. Skip Carnine of Rogers
    • Rep. Sue Scott of Rogers
    • Rep. Jon Eubanks of Paris
    • Rep. John Hutchison of Harrisburg
    • Rep. Allen Kerr of Little Rock
    • Rep. Kelley Linck of Yellville
  • Changed from "present" to "yes"
    • Rep. Mary Slinkard of Gravette
  • Did not vote Monday, voted "yes" Tuesday
    • Rep. Ann Clemmer of Benton
    • Rep. Stephanie Malone of Fort Smith
  • Changed from "yes" to "no"
    • Rep. Stephen Meeks of Greenbrier

The House and Senate already approved the expansion itself. Tuesday's vote was on a bill to pay for the expansion, which would use federal money to buy private health insurance for about 250,000 low-income residents.

The proposal was negotiated by GOP lawmakers and Gov. Mike Beebe as a compromise over the Medicaid expansion originally mandated by the Affordable Care Act, often called "Obamacare."

Budget bills can be voted on as many times as they are brought to the floor. A couple of representatives scheduled town hall meetings for Monday night to hear what their constituents before Tuesday's second vote.

The bill now heads to the Senate.

Ark. 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)
Beebe relying on lawmakers for exchange decision (Nov. 19)

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)
Ark. panel OKs Medicaid money for private option (April 3)

Ark. Senate approves 'private option' proposal (April 5)
Ark. House sets health care expansion meeting (April 6)
Medicaid expansion hits roadblock in the House (April 9)
"Private option" Medicaid expansion passes House, still faces tough vote (April 11)
Ark. 'private option' fails in House vote (April 15)
House passes Medicaid expansion funding; bill heads to Senate (April 16)