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Arkansas Senate Blocks Medicaid Funding, Legislature Will Reconvene Tuesday

LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) — Arkansas Republicans blocked funding for the state’s hybrid Medicaid expansion Thursday (April 14). The Senate voted 25-10 in f...

LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) -- Arkansas Republicans blocked funding for the state's hybrid Medicaid expansion Thursday (April 14).

The Senate voted 25-10 in favor of funding the Medicaid budget, but was two votes short of the 27 majority needed to pass it. The measure was sent back to the Joint Budget Committee.

"Arkansas Works," which is Gov. Asa Hutchinson's name for a plan to keep, but rework the private option, passed the House 95-0.

More than 250,000 Arkansans depend on the private option for health insurance. The private option uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for those who meet certain qualification.

However, on his Twitter, State Rep. David Meeks, R-Greenbrier, outlined a possible plan that could lead to the passage of "Arkansas Works."

According to Meeks, the Joint Budget Committee could add language that would remove funding for Medicaid expansion and if that version passed the House and Senate, the governor could use his line-item veto power to remove the added language to reinstate Medicaid funding.

That plan failed in the Joint Budget Committee in a 22-22 vote.

Legislators will reconvene in Little Rock on Tuesday and the committee is once again expected to take up "Arkansas Works."