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State lawmakers return with focus on Medicaid

By The Associated Press

This article was published March 3, 2014 at 7:36 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas lawmakers are returning for the fourth week of the legislative session, with the future of the state's compromise Medicaid expansion still uncertain.

The House and Senate are set to convene Monday, while an impasse over the "private option" funding bill stretches into its third week. Approved as an alternative expanding Medicaid under the federal health law, the private option is the state's plan to use federal Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents.

The Senate has approved reauthorizing the program, but the legislation has stalled before the state House. It's unclear when the House will vote again on the bill.

Some private option opponents are considering a compromise plan to support the legislation if state officials agree to seek federal approval for a limited enrollment period.

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