Balance Of Arkansas House Up In Air, State Senate A Lock For GOP

Oct 19, 2014

Arkansas State Capitol
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Voters can begin casting early ballots Monday in Arkansas' midterm election. And while the top-of-the-ticket U.S. Senate and governor's races have dominated the airwaves, a handful of legislative races could determine whether more than 200,000 people keep their health insurance under the state's Medicaid expansion.

One of the first jobs for the newly elected Legislature will be to decide whether to reauthorize the "private option" program, which uses Medicaid money to buy private health insurance for low-income residents.

Republicans have already secured control of the Senate, but Democrats can still reclaim the House.

Just four Senate seats are contested on the ballot, while 38 House seats are up for grabs. Republicans would need to win 16 of those seats to keep their majority in the House, while Democrats need 24.