On a 27 to 8 vote Thursday morning, the Arkansas State Senate passed a bill to provide funding to continue Arkansas's Medicaid expansion. Wednesday an identical funding bill failed for the second time this week to reach the required 75 votes, or a three-fourths majority, for passage by the state House of Representatives. The House is expected to vote on the bill again Thursday afternoon.
The private option plan allows the state to buy private insurance for Arkansans with incomes of up to 138 percent of the poverty level using federal Medicaid money. The program initially is covered entirely by federal funds, but by 2020, the state would have to pay 10 percent of the cost.
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