House, Senate approve "private option" Medicaid expansion, bills head to governor

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - State lawmakers worked overtime Wednesday night to pass the "private option" Medicaid expansion.

Both the House and Senate passed the framework and funding for an expanded form of Medicaid that would allow the state to use federal money to buy private insurance for low-income residents. The bill was a compromise between GOP lawmakers and Gov. Mike Beebe.

Wednesday's votes came at the tail end of the legislative session. The 2013 session is scheduled to wrap up Friday.

The bills now head to the Governor's Mansion for Beebe's signature.

Analysts estimate that the plan will add another 250,000 Arkansans to the Medicaid rolls.

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)
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)
Westerman: Delay insurance vote until next year (April 1)
Ark. panel OKs Medicaid money for private option (April 3)
House, Senate approve "private option" Medicaid expansion, bills head to governor (April 17)
Arkansas governor to sign Medicaid bill Monday (April 18)
Ark. Gov. signs 'private option' plan into law (April 23)