LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The top Republican in the Arkansas House is proposing that lawmakers wait until next year to approve expanding health insurance to thousands of low-income residents, but Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe says he's opposed to that idea.
House Majority Leader Rep. Bruce Westerman on Monday proposed that lawmakers take up the enabling legislation for expanding health coverage, but push back its effective date from Jan. 1, 2014, to July 1 of that year. Westerman says that would allow lawmakers to vote on the budget bill needed for the "private option" insurance model during next year's legislative session.
Arkansas lawmakers are considering a proposal that would allow the state to use additional federal Medicaid funds to purchase private health insurance for newly eligible recipients.
Beebe told reporters he's opposed to Westerman's idea.
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