Arkansas Legislative Leaders Back Insurance Expansion

Apr 1, 2013

Leaders of the Arkansas House and Senate say they support a proposal to expand health insurance to  low income workers by purchasing private coverage with federal Medicaid money.

House Speaker Davy Carter and Senate President Pro Tem Michael Lamoureux said Monday they support the so-called private option lawmakers are considering as an alternative to expanding Medicaid enrollment under the federal health care law.

Under the proposal, the private coverage would be purchased through an exchange created under the federal law.  

Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe has urged the Republican-led Legislature to approve the proposal, saying it will help low-income workers and cut down on hospitals' uncompensated care costs. Carter and Lamoureux are Republicans.

Beebe has also said the savings from the proposal could help pay for some tax cuts Republicans support.