No action taken on Medicaid proposals

Nov 6, 2013

The Legislature’s Joint Health and Labor Committee took no action on three bills that would address expanding Medicaid Services in the state. 

The committee will vote on the legislation in January, although a pilot project that would provide Medicaid expansion on the Wind River Reservation was assigned to another committee that deals with Native American issues.  

County 10 reporter Joshua Scheer said that some discussion centered on the bill based on what is called the Arkansas plan.  That’s where lawmakers want to use Medicaid dollars to buy private insurance for low income people.  Scheer said that committee Chairs Charlie Scott and Elaine Harvey did debate a portion of that bill.

“His Co-Chair Rep. Elaine Harvey raised concerns with the requirement that in order to receive the expansion under the Arkansas plan they have to be part-time employed.  She was concerned that unhealthy people may not be able to get healthy if they were working at the same time.  Scott said he’d have problems with removing that requirement.”

No matter which plan the committee chooses, it’s believed that it will provide more health care coverage for low income people.