Gov. Hutchinson Tries To Sway Democrats On Backup Medicaid Plan

Apr 18, 2016

Gov. Asa Hutchinson
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson and legislative leaders are trying to persuade wary Democrats to back a plan to save Arkansas' hybrid Medicaid expansion by initially voting to defund the subsidized health coverage for thousands of poor people.

Hutchinson on Monday continued trying to make a case for a proposal aimed at allowing him to reinstate the hybrid program through a line-item veto. Hutchinson told members of the Legislative Black Caucus the approach is a unique solution to the budget standoff over the program, which uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for the poor.

Hutchinson says he's received commitments from three of the 10 Senate Republicans blocking the program to support a Medicaid budget bill that defunds the expansion, even though the governor has vowed to veto the defunding provision.