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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Committee hears report on expansion of private option

Posted By on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 1:53 PM

A legislative committee today is hearing a report on expanding the private option Medicaid expansion to cover dental and vision needse.

A consultant details costs here.

Bottom line: It would cost about $20 per member per month to add dental and vision to the private option coverage. That's more than $40 million and the state has no plans to do it, but compiled the information because of interest in the topic.

I'm interested to note some social media reporting on this report from a Republican legislator who opposes the private option.

Also on the agenda, but not discussed to the consternation of many who'd turned out, was the Community First Choice Option program. It's a federally supported plan to encourage home-based care over institutional care. It's wrapped up here in both objections to anything that smacks of added features to health care in Arkansas, even if federally funded, and objections from institutions (think nursing homes) that could lose business under the plan. The discussion was punted over to a subcommittee for discussion later.

There are 3,000 disabled people on a waiting list to receive these new services, but between Tea Party, Koch and nursing home opposition, they face an uphill battle. Republican Rep. Andy Mayberry is an advocate and his questioning of the decision not to discuss the issue led to the removal of the conversation to a subcommittee he leads.

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