Hutchinson Says Managed Care Plan Broadens Debate

Mar 25, 2016

Gov. Asa Hutchinson looks with reporters at a draft of legislation to make changes to Medicaid.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says his proposal to shift some Medicaid services to private companies broadens the debate about the program's future beyond the hybrid expansion he's urging lawmakers to save.

Hutchinson on Friday called his managed care plan and legislation to rework the state's hybrid expansion "historic." Hutchinson's comments come the day after lawmakers got their first look at the bills outlining the proposals. The Legislature is expected to convene April 6 for a special session focusing on both proposals.

The Republican governor is calling for keeping the state's hybrid expansion, which uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for the poor, and adding new restrictions. He's also proposed having private firms manage Medicaid's services for the developmentally disabled and mentally ill.