Governor Mike Beebe touted the construction of several new medical projects throughout the state as evidence of good healthcare policy. In particular Beebe addressed Arkansas' adaption of the Affordable Care Act that uses Medicaid money to buy private health insurance for the working poor, instead of expanding Medicaid coverage. Governor Beebe said it will help hospitals.
“Thanks to the Arkansas private option more of our people will have regular access to these services. More people will have insurance and medical providers will see a decrease in uncompensated care costs," said Beebe. "For example, it's estimated that St. Bernards' and NEA Baptist's costs of uncompensated care will fall by $8 million annually thanks to the private option.”
Governor Beebe said healthcare success is being noticed elsewhere.
“There’s a lot of discussion and debate about healthcare but it's projects like these that show you the direct benefits good policies have for our citizens and what is at stake for those that don't yet have access to these services. Already being hailed as a national model the Arkansas private option will continue to keep our local hospitals operating, ease the hidden tax we all pay in uncompensated care, and keep our positive momentum for better quality healthcare in Arkansas,” said Beebe.
Earlier this week Iowa passed its own private option plan, based on Arkansas' plan. Michigan, Tennessee, and Pennsylvanian are also working on modified versions of the private option.