Lawmakers explain private option in meeting

    10:59 PM, Apr 10, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- A meeting was held Wednesday night to answer questions regarding the use federal Medicaid funds to subsidize private health insurance for low-income residents.

    Governor Mike Beebe proposed this as an alternative to expanding Medicaid enrollment as called for under the federal health care law.

    Republican Senator David Sanders, R - Little Rock, said doing nothing would cost the state more than $1 billion.

    "And, you look at all the negative consequences of the people who would be added to the Medicaid rolls as a result of doing nothing. It's almost counter-intuitive if you think about it. That is a huge cost to the state in the short term and the long term," Sanders said.

    The House is expected to vote Thursday on the plan. A final vote, which would require a three-fourths majority, could come Friday.

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