LITTLE ROCK (Arkansas News Bureau) An alternative version of Medicaid expansion that the Obama administration has offered to Arkansas would actually allow the state to move some recipients off of the government program, officials said Thursday.
Legislators and state officials said it appears possible that under the new option announced this week Arkansas could reduce its Medicaid costs because some people now on Medicaid would become eligible for federal subsidies to purchase private health insurance plans through the state's insurance exchange, at no cost to the state.
Officials are referring to the alternative as Medicaid "contraction."
"Draw the line, close the door, turn the page: We are moved past Medicaid expansion," said Rep. John Burris, R-Harrison. "We will not add a single person to the rolls of Medicaid in this session. If anything, we are going in the other direction."
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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)