Governor Heading Back From D.C. With Medicaid Answers

Feb 25, 2013

Governor Mike Beebe is heading back from Washington DC, and with him are answers to lawmakers’ questions about the state’s options for expanding Medicaid under the Federal health care law.

The Governor, a Democrat, supports expansion, but some Republicans want more flexibility in the plan.

Representative Charlie Collins of Fayetteville says he and his colleagues want to see more private insurance options.

“We’ve been looking at this for a long time saying Medicaid expansion equals a specific thing, today it looks like there is a tremendous menu of flexibility which really means it’s a new question and we need to dig into that,” he said.

Collins says he thinks the full Medicaid expansion likely never would have been an option for the state, which is why he says more flexibility from Washington will help lawmakers decide on portions of the Medicaid expansion they feel the state can manage.

“My hope is that when the Governor comes back he’s got some more insights on the types of flexibility Washington will allow,” he said.

The House and Senate are currently looking for an outside consultant to assess the state’s current Medicaid program. Republican lawmakers say they don’t want to expand a broken system.