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Wednesday, October 01, 2014, 1:45 p.m.
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Beebe urges private-option funding in LR talk

By Staff and wire reports

This article was originally published January 29, 2014 at 7:05 a.m. Updated January 29, 2014 at 1:46 p.m.


Gov. Mike Beebe speaks Wednesday to the Political Animals Club.

Beebe: Not funding private option would hurt hospitals

Beebe spoke Wednesday to the Political Animals Club, telling the group that not passing the private option would hurt the state's hospitals. (By Gavin Lesnick)
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Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe used his last speech as governor to the Political Animals Club to urge lawmakers to fund the state's "private option" compromise Medicaid expansion, saying failing to do so would be devastating to the state's hospitals.

Beebe, speaking Wednesday to the Political Animals Club meeting at the Governor's Mansion, said failing to pass funding at next month's fiscal session would mean a $28 million cut for UAMS Medical Center.

"$28 million a year difference between doing the private option and not doing it," Beebe said. "Did y'all hear that? That's real. And you can take that amount of money and interpolate it ... and that is applicable to every hospital in Arkansas in varying degrees."

Beebe noted that UAMS is a major economic engine in the state, employing 10,000 people with salaries well above the state's average.

"They will get killed if this doesn't pass," he said. "Now they won't close their doors. We've got little hospitals in rural parts of the state that will close their doors. It's not a scare tactic, folks, it's the facts."

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

Afterwards, Beebe said he believed he knew of one or two legislators who voted against the private option but would now vote yes. He said he would not identify them or say whether they were in the state House or Senate.

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Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 total comments

Populist says... January 29, 2014 at 7:31 p.m.

Some people just would rather cut off their noses to spite their faces. I pray that common sense prevails on this issue.

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Dontcallmenames says... January 30, 2014 at 8:23 a.m.

And some will just shake their heads "yes" whenever a government official tells them they need more money because government solves all our problems with other people's money all the time! Vote Mike Ross if you want more of this politics instead of real solutions without government. Anyone noticing what they're doing in Wisconsin?

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... January 30, 2014 at 8:38 a.m.

DCMN, Yes, but funny how the Lame Stream Media says nothing about it.

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