State Senate introduces bill to add work requirements to Medicaid

2018 Kemmerer Gazette

Arkansas' governor has signed into law legislation to continue the state's Medicaid expansion, which will impose a work requirement on thousands of participants this year.

House and Senate Republican leaders are at a stalemate over how the state should pay hospitals that treat Medicaid patients. It's been waiting for a committee hearing since December. That bill would likely be very similar to the budget submitted to the current session by Gov. Terry McAuliffe before he left office, since new Gov. Ralph Northam endorsed that budget.

The House spent hours considering several amendments to the bill that was passed by the Senate.

On Friday, the Senate will have to vote on the amendments made by the House.

In a statement, House Speaker Kirk Cox said going home for a few days after Saturday's adjournment could let tensions cool and help fuel a deal later.

Arkansas lawmakers have approved the state's $5.6 billion budget for the coming year, wrapping up this year's fiscal session in four weeks.

"We did this together with the House of Delegates and we did it without any tax increases", said Sen. "The Granite Advantage Health Care Program is a New Hampshire plan that protects taxpayers and the General Fund, saves the federal taxpayers approximately $200 million, provides 50,000 Granite Staters with healthcare, and stabilizes our individual market".

Supporters of the bill believe it could help with planned power system upgrades.

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