Arkansas House Leaders Detail Cuts If Medicaid Plan Fails

Apr 11, 2016

Arkansas House Speaker Jeremy Gillam during the April 2016 special session on Medicaid expansion.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas House leaders say a host of state programs including public schools, prisons and colleges would face cuts if lawmakers don't fund the state's hybrid Medicaid expansion.

Arkansas House Speaker Jeremy Gillam on Monday released an alternate budget detailing the cuts needed if legislation funding the expanded coverage isn't approved. The Legislature last week approved Gov. Asa Hutchinson's plan to keep and rework the expansion, which uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for the poor.

The votes were shy of the three-fourths support that the Medicaid budget bill funding the expansion will need. Lawmakers will take up that measure at a legislative session set to begin Wednesday. Gillam said most state agencies would see a cut of about 3 percent if the program ends.