Arkansas Healthcare

Governor Asa Hutchinson
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says the Obama Administration has approved changes for Arkansas's Medicaid expansion program, though the waiver has stricter requirements than he wanted in providing assistance to employers who offer insurance for lower-income employees.

In a press conference Wednesday, Hutchinson said federal Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell called him Tuesday night, the day after they met in Washington, saying she would issue a letter Wednesday saying the waiver for the Arkansas Works program, previously known as the Private Option, would be granted.

Senate President Pro Tem Jonathan Dismang, Gov. Asa Hutchinson and House Speaker Jeremy Gillam
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and legislative leaders have appointed the five members of a board that will develop Arkansas' medical marijuana policy.

Hutchinson on Wednesday named Little Rock breast cancer surgeon Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman to the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission. House Speaker Jeremy Gillam appointed Benton pharmacist Stephen Carroll and lawyer Travis Story of Fayetteville. Senate President Pro Tem Jonathan Dismang named former Senate chief of staff James Miller of Bryant and pain specialist Dr. J. Carlos Roman of Little Rock.

Asa Hutchinson governor
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson took part in meetings Monday in Washington, DC that could be key for the future of his Arkansas Works Medicaid expansion plan.

First he met with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell as he seeks a needed waiver for the program, which is a successor to the state's Private Option. He then met with members of President-elect Donald Trump's transition team.

Asa Hutchinson
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is to meet next week with members of the transition team for President-elect Donald Trump to discuss healthcare. It comes after the governor talked with Trump earlier this week by phone.

marijuana
npr.org

Labels for medical marijuana products sold in Arkansas would have to include details on their laboratory analysis, dosage and warnings under a draft of rules being prepared for the launch of the first medical pot program in the Bible Belt.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) at the state Capitol on Monday.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas voters approved medical marijuana earlier this month and the governor says he’s open to seeing if the voter-approved tax structure should be changed in January’s legislative session. Speaking to reporters at the state Capitol on Monday, Governor Asa Hutchinson said he hasn’t yet made up his mind on new taxes or shifting where marijuana revenue should go.

Three Arkansas associations of county leaders have endorsed resolutions asking the state to make it a priority to fund services for the mentally ill.

The County Judges Association of Arkansas, Arkansas Sherriffs’ Association and the Quorum Court Association of Arkansas announced Wednesday they were supporting three proposals:

-The adequate funding of behavioral health and crisis services in jails

With state voters’ approval of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, state agencies are beginning to develop the infrastructure to regulate the drug.

A day after passage of Issue 6, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, Gov. Asa Hutchinson told reporters the state now has “to move very thoughtfully and carefully.” 

“The people voted this in. And I intend to implement it according to the will of the people of Arkansas,” he said.

Arkansas Children's Hospital is breaking ground on a new clinic aimed at expanding access to medical care for thousands of children, many of them from Spanish-speaking families.

The new clinic in southwest Little Rock is expected to open next spring. Officials say the new facility will feature a bilingual staff, 15 exam rooms, an X-ray suite and a laboratory.

Medical Marijuana
Arkansans for Compassionate Care

A new Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey shows that opposition remains stronger than support for two medical marijuana proposals that will be on the November ballot.

The poll, conducted statewide among 463 likely Arkansas voters on October 21, 2016, has a margin of error of 4.6%.

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