Arkansas Senate Approves, House Rejects Private Option

Feb 20, 2014


Legislation to continue Arkansas' compromise Medicaid expansion has failed for a third time in the state House, despite winning approval in the Senate.

The House on Thursday afternoon voted 72-25 Thursday to reauthorize funding for the "private option," falling three votes shy of the 75 needed to keep the program alive.

It was the third failed vote in the House for the program, approved last year as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law.

Earlier in the day, the Senate approved an identical funding bill for the private option 27-8, the exact number needed to pass.

Under the private option, Arkansas is using federal Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents. House leaders have said they'll keep holding votes on the program until it passes.