Local & Regional News
2:02 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Arkansas 'Private Option' Fails In House Vote

Supporters of the Medicaid expansion spending bill lined the stairway to the House in advance of the vote.
Credit Arkansas Times

A plan for Arkansas to use federal Medicaid funds to buy private insurance for low-income residents has failed to capture the supermajority needed to pass the state House.  

The House 69-28 Monday in favor of the bill, but supporters weren't able to reach the 75 votes needed for passage. 

Legislators can bring it up for another vote.  

The Legislature has already approved a bill setting up the program but a three-fourths majority of legislators in both the House and Senate need to approve an attached budget bill before it can be implemented.

The proposal also needs final approval from federal officials.  

The House was scheduled to vote on the plan Friday but it was delayed to allow lawmakers the chance to speak with constituents about the plan during the weekend.