Local & Regional News
12:24 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Arkansas House Delays Vote On 'Private Option'

Arkansas Capitol
Credit flickr.com

After planning to vote Friday on a bill to use federal Medicaid funds for a "private option," Arkansas House Speaker Davy Carter said the chamber will wait until Monday.

Many lawmakers had said they wanted to take time to go back to their districts this weekend and talk with constituents before casting their votes.

75 of the 100 members of the Arkansas House would need to approve the bill.

The plan won support from most House members Thursday, but didn't get the 75-vote supermajority needed for an attached budget bill.

Speaker Carter released this statement just after noon Friday:

"After numerous conversations with members and careful consideration, House leadership has decided it is in the best interest of the state of Arkansas for the House to wait until Monday to vote on HB1219, which is the appropriation measure containing the Arkansas Private Option.

The health care debate in this country over the past many years has been intense, and arguably been the basis of every contested election across the country in recent memory.

The Supreme Court of the United States has issued its opinion, and the cold hard fact is that Arkansas is left with two choices, and neither choice can stop the implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act.

Indeed, the vast majority of the members of the Arkansas House of Representatives realize that the Private Option is the best choice.

Having the vote on Monday will allow members time to return home to the 30,000 Arkansans they serve to discuss their decision."