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Arkansas panel looks at 'private option' changes

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 13, 2014 at 7:24 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK — An Arkansas legislative committee is set to consider a series of proposed amendments that would block the state from promoting its compromise Medicaid expansion program.

The Joint Budget Committee is expected on Thursday to look at changes to the "private option" that was approved last year as an alternative to expanding Medicaid's enrollment under the federal health care law. Under the private option, Arkansas is using federal Medicaid money to purchase private insurance for thousands of low-income residents.

The proposed amendments include a bill to prevent the state from spending any money to promote or advertise the private option in an effort to sway opponents of the private option, which is at risk of not being reauthorized by the Legislature.

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