Thursday, February 27, 2014

No progress this week on Medicaid expansion

Posted By on Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 2:01 PM

The Arkansas House adjourned today until 1:30 p.m. Monday. So further votes or action on amendments to make the private option Medicaid expansion acceptable to holdouts will wait until at least then. The measure has passed the Senate but needs 75 votes in the House. It has not gotten past 73 known supporters so far.

Before adjourning, the House approved the bill that allows the governor to bypass calling a special election this year to fill the vacancy in the office of lieutenant governor. The bill had already passed the Senate. Adjournment also left languishing the appropriation bill for the secretary of state's office. It's been held up for several days. The minority blockade of the private option, the secretary of state's role in the Voter ID law and a lack of warmth toward Secretary of State Mark Martin seem to be factors.

If only we could pass a law to avoid filling the llieutenant governor's office next year.

David Ramsey reports that Medicaid expansion opponents seem to want to place a limit on enrollment. He indicates that's unlikely to win approval. I hope so. Seems like an obvious equal protection problem. But he reports there's another wrinkle that might fly.

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