More benefits to Arkansas from Obamacare | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

More benefits to Arkansas from Obamacare

Posted By on Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 7:06 AM

Benji Hardy writes at the Legislative Digest's blog on an aspect of the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — that is bringing significant amounts of new money to Arkansas to help difficult cases — the developmentally disabled. The law provides millions in additional support to families and small group homes for community-based care. The law makes it easier for families to get waivers to use Medicaid money for such care.

Noted in the article: Rep. Randy Alexander of Fayetteville is quoted. He has a daughter living in a group home. Alexander was among 23 House members who voted against the private option Medicaid expansion appropriation. Those already covered by Medicaid — such as those already receiving community or institutional care for disabilities — weren't part of the Medicaid expansion. But the entire state DHS budget — indeed the entire state budget — is an interrelated web dependent on the significant increase in funding brought by the Affordable Care Act, which Alexander opposed by his vote. His daughter's Medicaid likely will continue if the private option isn't authorized in the fiscal session.

But, as state officials noted yesterday, some 100,000 people moved off Medicaid and into private insurance may be left twisting in the wind. And other program cuts undoubtedly will be required to return to the old system at increased cost to the state.

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