Chris Hickey

Anchor & Reporter

Chris Hickey was born and raised in Houston, Texas, spending his teenage years in Camden, Ohio. After a hang gliding accident permanently ruined his dreams of becoming a Division I college basketball champion, he decided to pursue a liberal arts degree at Hendrix College, majoring in English. He got his start in public radio working as a board operator at WMUB in Oxford, Ohio during his summer and winter breaks from school. Since graduating, he has made Little Rock home. He joined KUAR in September 2011 as a production intern and has since enjoyed producing, anchoring and reporting for the station.

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Arkansas General Assembly
3:18 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Arkansas House Passes Private Option on 5th Vote

As ice melted on state Capitol grounds Tuesday, tensions surrounding the 'private option' alternative to Medicaid expansion were also thawing inside. The appropriation bill for the program passed in the House of Representatives on a 76 to 24 vote.
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR News

After more than a week of delaying a 5th vote on funding the private option, the Arkansas House of Representatives passed the measure Tuesday on a 76 to 24 vote. A minority of lawmakers in the House had prevented the funding bill for the Department of Human Services Division of Medical Services from reaching a three-fourths supermajority to pass out of that chamber, but three lawmakers switched their previous “no” votes to “yes” votes.

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Local & Regional News
4:17 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Arkansas May See Wintry Mix This Weekend

Forecasters are predicting a round of freezing precipitation for Arkansas this weekend, though the northern half of the state will likely see the most ice. Jeff Hood, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service said a cold front will begin entering Arkansas from the northwest late Saturday, bringing with it a chance of freezing rain and sleet and thunderstorms farther south.

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Arkansas General Assembly
8:06 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Discussions Bring Potential Changes To Private Option, Vote Expected Next Week

House Speaker Davy Carter (R, Cabot)
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

State Legislators say they’re getting closer to finding a way to pass funding for Arkansas’s private option. House Leadership have been meeting with opponents and Department of Human Services officials about the possibility of limiting the time period during which people can enroll in the program.

House Speaker Davy Carter said an idea is being floated to create a fixed period of open enrollment in private option health insurance plans. In meetings with opponents and DHS officials, the issue of setting a specific time frame for people to enroll was raised.

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Arkansas General Assembly
3:04 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Bill To Keep Lt. Governor's Seat Vacant Clears Arkansas House

The Arkansas House of Representatives' chamber.
Credit wikipedia.org

The vacant seat of Arkansas Lieutenant Governor will likely remain that way until next year. On Thursday the state House of Representatives passed SB139, allowing the Governor to not call a special election to fill a vacant Lieutenant Governor’s post if that vacancy occurs less than 10 months from a General Election. The state Senate passed the bill last week and the bill now awaits Governor Mike Beebe’s signature to become law.

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Politics & Healthcare
6:39 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

In Fiscal Legislative Session, Discussions On Private Option Go On

Arkansas Capitol
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

The Arkansas House of Representatives again delayed a fifth vote on funding Arkansas’s private option alternative to Medicaid expansion Wednesday. It came just as the state Department of Human Services new released figures showing that 127, 051 people have been deemed eligible to receive assistance under the healthcare program, with 105,561 already covered.

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Arkansas General Assembly
6:36 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

5th House Vote On Private Option Delayed

Arkansas House of Representatives Chamber
Credit wikipedia.org

The Arkansas House of Representatives is showing more signs of a continued stalemate over reauthorizing funds for the private option. On Tuesday measures to fund the Department of Human Services Division of Medical Services were not brought up for a vote, as House leadership indicated that the chamber was still two votes shy of reaching the 75 percent supermajority to reapprove the healthcare program for poor Arkansans.

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Arkansas General Assembly
6:06 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Another Critical Vote Ahead For Arkansas's Private Option

The floor of the Arkansas House of Representatives before votes were held last week.
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR

The Arkansas House of Representatives meets today. Lawmakers have lots of appropriation bills – which continue funding for various programs and agencies – awaiting their approval. They are all held up by the state's “private option,” its Medicaid expansion compromise.

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Healthcare in Arkansas
3:51 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Beebe Defends Private Option Before Nation

Credit c-span.org

Governor Mike Beebe is expressing optimism that Arkansas’s plan to provide low-income residents with private health insurance using federal Medicaid dollars will be reapproved by the state legislature. Beebe is in our nation’s Capitol for a National Governor’s Association Conference. There, Arkansas’s private option alternative to Medicaid Expansion is receiving attention as state lawmakers here attempt to overcome a small minority who oppose the program.

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Arkansas General Assembly
12:55 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Deadlock On Private Option Carrries On In Arkansas Legislature

For the fourth time in as many days, the Arkansas House of Representatives failed to pass a measure that would fund the private option, the state’s unique plan to provide hundreds of thousands of poor people with private health insurance.  The funding bill failed on a 71 to 18 vote, with many members voting in absentia (Friday is normally a day off for legislators.

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Arkansas General Assembly
8:38 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Private Option Passes In Senate, Just Misses In House

The Arkansas State Senate Chamber
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR

In what was expected to be a close but almost certain vote, the Arkansas State Senate passed the appropriation bill for the private option, the healthcare plan that extends coverage to poor residents. Later in the afternoon Thursday, the House of Representatives again fell short of passing the bill.

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