Dismang: Boundaries Of Arkansas's Medicaid Plan To Be Tested In New Year

Dec 24, 2014

State Senate President Pro Tempore Jonathan Dismang (R-Beebe) says the state's Medicaid expansion plan will have to change if it is to survive.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

The head of the state Senate and an architect of Arkansas' "private option" Medicaid plan says legislators are weighing changes to the system that will test how much flexibility the federal government will allow.

Under Arkansas' version of Medicaid expansion, the state uses federal money to buy private insurance for low-income residents. Senate President Jonathan Dismang has said the program will have to change dramatically in order to survive another year after several candidates who vowed to end the program were elected last month.

Dismang says he has not begun counting votes to see if there are the votes needed in his chamber to continue the Medicaid expansion plan. He says one possible change would require recipients to either be working or actively seeking work.