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    Arkansas panel advances 'private option' bill

    11:57 AM, Feb 13, 2014   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - An Arkansas legislative panel has advanced the funding bill for the state's compromise Medicaid expansion.

    The Joint Budget Committee on Thursday recommended passing the measure, which would keep the state's "private option" alive for another year. Under the private option, Arkansas is using federal Medicaid money to purchase private insurance for thousands of low-income residents.

    The private option was approved as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law.

    The proposal still faces an uncertain future after losing key votes in the state Senate. The House could vote on the legislation as early as Friday.

    The measure includes amendments aimed at swaying opponents of the expansion, including a ban on any promotion or advertising about the private option using public money.

    (Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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