Gov. Beebe: partial expansion idea not dead yet | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Gov. Beebe: partial expansion idea not dead yet

Posted By on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Gov. Mike Beebe told reporters today that the new rules on co-pays released by the feds on Monday “indicated some willingness to grant some flexibility.”

The new rules are relatively small potatoes (see below), but co-pays have been one idea that Republican lawmakers have suggested might be part of a deal to go forward with Medicaid expansion. But the big one remains the notion of “partial expansion” — establishing a lower eligibility threshold for Medicaid expansion than 138 percent of the federal poverty level, the line established by the Affordable Care Act.

The feds have been explicit that it’s all or nothing — if Arkansas and other states want the generous matching rates that come with the ACA, they have to expand the Medicaid program to cover folks making up to 138 percent of the FPL. But Republican leaders are holding out hopes that there may yet be wiggle room.

Beebe said that his administration is in “constant communication” with the feds on Medicaid issues.

As to the idea of partial expansion, he said, “it’s way too early to know. That they were willing to embrace co-pays…is an indication that they are not as rigid as they once were, or as many people thought they were. Whether that goes beyond co-pays remains to be seen.” Beebe said there were tentative plans to meet with federal officials to discuss expansion when the National Governors Association meets in Washington in February.

As for those new co-pay rules, they may serve as helpful cover for Republicans seeking a compromise position on the expansion question, though it's hard to believe they will do much to raise revenue. Under the revised rules, states could charge a maximum co-pay of $4 for outpatient services used by beneficiaries below the federal poverty line, up from the current limit, which is between $1.30 and $3.90 depending on the service; and they could charge an $8 co-pay for non-preferred drugs and non-emergency uses of emergency rooms for folks at or below 150 percent of the FPL.

Matt DeCample, Beebe’s spokesman, said, “The governor is supportive of having co-pays as part of the conversation. We’ll see what specific ideas for Arkansas arise in the coming weeks.”

Tags: , , , ,



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by David Ramsey

Readers also liked…

  • Free Zinn book for Arkansas teachers

    Arkansas teachers! Get your free Howard Zinn book here! Whether Kim Hendren likes it or not.
    • Mar 3, 2017
  • Trump's strangulation of Obamacare

    If he can't kill it outright, Donald Trump will do all he can to cripple Obamacare. Vox has detailed reporting on deep cuts in federal spending that support nonprofit agencies that help people sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
    • Sep 18, 2017
  • Payday lenders on the march at legislature

    Payday lenders are working hard to get legislative cover for the reintroduction of their usurious loan business to Arkansas. Some are fighting back.
    • Mar 10, 2017


  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation