Monday, December 10, 2012

New DHS projections on impact of Medicaid expansion could see more light as legislative session approaches

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 8:53 AM

John Selig
  • John Selig

The Department of Human Services will be more vocal about their updated projections on the amount of money Arkansas stands to gain from Medicaid expansion as we get closer to the legislative session in January, DHS Director John Selig says.

We reported on the updated projections a few weeks ago. Short version: the state is projected to save even more than we originally thought, and the savings are projected to continue even after Arkansas has to start pitching in to cover the expanded population.

This is an important point in the debate over Medicaid expansion, but a lot of lawmakers and stakeholders still aren’t aware of the new projections. I asked Selig about the knowledge gap. His response:

I think part of it is there just hasn’t been a major forum where that’s been a topic to go through in any detail. It gets complicated. The discussion we’ve been having with legislators is not so much about specific dollar amounts, it’s more around the concept of expansion. As we approach the session, we’ll have more opportunities to share that updated data. We’re just not beating people over the head with it right now.

“Over time, we do believe it’s going to really benefit the state,” he added.

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