Arkansas House And Senate Take Up Hybrid Medicaid Plan

Apr 7, 2016

The Arkansas House at the beginning of the special session Wednesday.

Arkansas lawmakers are taking up Gov. Asa Hutchinson's plan to keep and rework the state's hybrid Medicaid expansion.

The House and Senate on Thursday are scheduled to take up identical versions of legislation outlining the Republican governor's proposal to keep the program that is covering more than 250,000 people. Hutchinson wants to rename the program "Arkansas Works" and add new restrictions such as premiums for some participants.

The program was created three years ago as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law.

The votes may indicate how much of a challenge Hutchinson faces next week in fending off an attempt by opponents to block the funding bill for the expanded coverage. That measure will need three-fourths support from the House and Senate.