House Speaker Calls For Health Insurance Expansion Proposal This Week

Mar 20, 2013

Arkansas House Speaker Davy Carter is wanting to see a written draft of a proposal to expand health coverage in the state by Friday.

“The end-date of the session is certainly a major factor, it’s just time to start taking this a little further, let’s get it down in writing, lets incorporate the new information and let’s move,” Carter said in an interview with KUAR.

Speaker Carter says it's time to get down to the details on health insurance expansion with the Affordable Care Act.
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

The federal government will pay for expanding health insurance coverage for Arkansans who earn 100 to 138 percent of the federal poverty level for the first several years, but the state will eventually be responsible for 10 percent of the cost.

A recent analysis from the state’s Department of Human Services estimates that expanding insurance coverage for the state’s working poor through private insurance plans will not cost as much more than expanding coverage through Medicaid, which Carter says is good news.

Budgetary concerns are a factor too, he said.

“There’s a certain amount of money that I’d like to spend over the coming years and we have to incorporate the policy that fits in with those parameters,” Carter said.

The call for proposed expansion isn’t an indicator that it will pass, Carter said, however, recent reports have indicated that support is growing among legislators now that it’s possible to do so with private insurance plans.