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Davy Carter: Open to tweaking 'private option'

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 3, 2014 at 12:21 p.m.

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas House Speaker Davy Carter said Monday that he's open to tweaking the state's compromise Medicaid expansion but said he's confident lawmakers will renew the program when they convene for this year's legislative session.

The Cabot Republican said voting on whether to reauthorize the "private option" will be one of the first things the Legislature will have to do when it convenes for this year's session next Monday, since so many other parts of the budget depend on the program.

The private option was approved last year as an alternative to the Medicaid expansion envisioned under the federal health-care law. The program is at risk of being defunded after losing two key votes in the state Senate.

Reauthorizing the expansion will require three-fourths support in the House and Senate.

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