Beebe Sees Path Forward For Medicaid Plan

Dec 30, 2014

Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Outgoing Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe says he's cautiously optimistic that the state will keep its compromise Medicaid expansion, warning that abandoning the program could be "politically disastrous" for its opponents.

The two-term Democrat said Monday that he believes there's a path forward for reauthorizing the state's "private option." More than 213,000 people are enrolled in the program, which uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for the poor.

Beebe is leaving office in January due to term limits and will be succeeded by Republican Gov.-elect Asa Hutchinson. Several opponents of the private option were elected to the Legislature in November, and Hutchinson has said he'll announce by late January whether he supports continuing the program.

Keeping the program alive will require three-fourths support in both the House and Senate.