The state House did not move forward a proposal to use Medicaid funds to purchase private policies.
A proposal in Arkansas faced the House but failed to pass as it proposed to use Medicaid money in order to purchase private health insurance to provide coverage to residents of the state within the lower income brackets.
The legislation fell short of the votes that it would have required in order to obtain approval.
According to an Arkansas House of Representatives spokesperson, Cecillea Pond-Mayo, there were 75 votes that would have been needed in order to be able to approve the health insurance measure. When the vote occurred, however, there were only 69 lawmakers who voted in favor, and another 28 who expressed their opposition.
Following the failure to pass the health insurance measure, the House Speaker planned another vote.
The House Speaker, Davy Carter (R), had immediate intentions to schedule another vote on the measure on the following day.
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Mike Beebe (D), the Governor of Arkansas, had received an informal approval for this measure from the federal government on February 18. It would have allowed the funds that were designated for the Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance system overhaul to be redirected to purchasing private coverage for those earning lower incomes.
The Advance Arkansas Institute president, Dan Greenberg said that “It’s a very tough vote because a lot of Republicans have been running for years against Obamacare.” That organization, based in Little Rock, is a research group that was opposed to the Arkansas legislation and that is in favor of more limited government. Greenberg added that “If the House turns it down, it is dead.”
Republican lawmakers in other states have been paying close attention to the vote in Arkansas, as they have been showing their own interest in the type of health insurance system plan that this state has been attempting to develop. Other states across the country that are looking to this vote for notes for their own progress include Tennessee and Florida. This, according to the executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors in Washington, Matt Salo.