A bill to cap the number of enrollees in the state’s Medicaid expansion pool at its current rate, roughly 332,000, is progressing through the Arkansas legislature despite violating federal law.
HB1465, sponsored by Rep. Josh Miller, (R-Herber Springs), passed the full House earlier this month and is scheduled to go before the Senate Public Health, Welfare, and Labor committee Wednesday.
Approved by the legislature and then-Gov. Mike Beebe in 2013 as the Private Option, the state's response to the Affordable Care Act of 2009 provides health coverage for low-income Arkansans. It was rebranded by Gov. Asa Hutchinson as Arkansas Works in 2015.
The federal government currently pays for 95 percent of the Medicaid expansion costs, and that is slated to drop to 90 percent in 2020.
“It’s not a boon to the people of Arkansas,” said Miller.