Steve Brawner / Talk Business & Politics

Steve Brawner is a freelance journalist and contributor to Talk Business & Politics.

He is also a syndicated columnist in 10 Arkansas newspapers.

You can email him at or follow him on Twitter: @SteveBrawner.

Arkansas Medicaid officials have sent notices of termination to 25,000 Medicaid beneficiaries, almost all of them recipients of the state’s private option, informing them that they are losing their eligibility because they did not respond to a request for income verification, legislators were told Thursday.

Department of Human Services Director John Selig told members of the Health Care Reform Legislative Task Force that about 65,000 beneficiaries, again, nearly all of them private option recipients, have been determined still to be eligible.

Arkansas’ annual 2.2% growth in Medicaid spending from 2010-13 places it below the U.S. average of about 4% and in the middle of adjacent states – well below Oklahoma’s more than 5% increase but more than Tennessee and Louisiana, whose increases were below 1%.

Alia Borroho, 32, has been a business development director at an education tech startup in Little Rock. She wanted to write software code instead. After 12 weeks of classes, she’ll be able to do so.

Borroho is one of 14 students – and one of two females – attending classes at the newly opened Iron Yard Coding Academy, a chain of 14 campuses in the United States with one in London.

Office of the Governor

More than 15,000 individuals have lost state government health benefits because their family incomes vary at least 10% from their original applications and they did not respond to government requests to verify their incomes.

That’s according to a letter sent to lawmakers by Gov. Asa Hutchinson Monday. Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, posted the letter to his Twitter feed.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Little Rock District and the Arkansas Waterways Commission signed a $3 million cost-sharing agreement Thursday to fund a study meant to ensure the Arkansas River remains navigable. Meanwhile, water is currently overtopping one of the structures that makes that navigation possible.

Arkansas should continue its efforts to establish a state-based insurance exchange, the executive director of the state’s Health Insurance Marketplace said Monday, even though a recent Supreme Court ruling makes it less necessary to do so.