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Health Care

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Saturday, April 7, 2018 - 16:10:00

Virginia inches toward Medicaid expansion

The next domino.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 11:48:00

Legislative committees approve reduction in retroactive eligibility for new Medicaid expansion enrollees

This is about cost-shifting, plain and simple. The change will save the state some money (a projected $1.3 million in the next fiscal year according to the Department of Human Services), while hospitals and providers will see uncompensated care costs go up and poor Arkansans will be slapped with bills they can't possibly pay.

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Friday, March 30, 2018 - 07:25:00

Walmart reportedly set to acquire health insurance behemoth Humana

The Wall Street Journal reports that Walmart is in the early stages of talks to buy Humana, one of the nation's five largest health insurers.

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Flake & Kelley

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 11:08:00

No regrets for states that expanded Medicaid

The Brookings Institute takes a look at states that expanded Medicaid and finds no evidence of regret: "The strong balance of objective evidence indicates that actual costs to states so far from expanding Medicaid are negligible or minor, and that states across the political spectrum do not regret their decisions to expand Medicaid." That includes Arkansas, the state where Medicaid expansion has survived despite a perfect storm of political obstacles.

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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Saturday, January 6, 2018 - 11:51:00

Still no action from GOP Congress on CHIP: ARKids set to run out of funds in March, some states this month; CBO revises CHIP price tag down by 90 percent

Emergency funding approved by Congress last month will not be enough to keep the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) afloat this month in some states, federal officials announced yesterday — on the same day that the Congressional Budget Office released an updated budget score that now estimate the net budget impact of CHIP re-authorization to be a fraction of previous projections. Action is months overdue and Republicans are out of excuses.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 22:25:00

Governor promises Arkansas Works will remain stable despite Trump executive order

Governor Hutchinson told reporters Tuesday that Arkansas Works, the state’s privatized approach to Medicaid expansion, would be able to fully offset the cost of a sharp rise in private health insurance premiums in the coming year by decreasing another type of payment the state makes to insurance carriers.

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday, September 25, 2017 - 08:22:00

Mike Beebe weighs in on preserving his private option plan

Former Gov. Mike Beebe urges Arkansans to call senators to defeat the Graham-Cassidy health bill, which he says would be devastating to the Arkansas economy and the hundreds of thousands of people helped by the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.

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Flake & Kelley

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Monday, September 25, 2017 - 08:11:00

Obamacare wrecking crew has new legislative wrinkles

Backers of the Graham-Cassidy legislation to repeal Obamacare are madly trying to amend the bill to win over enough Republican senators for passage. It makes it even worse, if by worse you mean reduces health coverage for Americans.

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 17:14:00

DHS announces 'one-stop-shop' for Medicaid providers

On Thursday, Arkansas Department of Human Services Director Cindy Gillespie announced an internal reorganization of the DHS that will shift 171 employees to a newly created division, impact more than 40 DHS contracts and streamline the agency’s oversight of thousands of Medicaid providers across the state.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 10:06:00

Tall Talking Tom Cotton emerges from hiding on health care

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton dropped by the friendly confines of Right-Ring Radio KARN this morning to finally be heard on the now-dead Senate health bill that he and 12 white male Republicans met in secret to write. A profile in courage he isn't.

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Thursday, July 13, 2017 - 17:35:00

Senate bill imperils rural health care, hospital leaders warn

In the four years since Arkansas chose to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, Harris Medical Center in Newport has seen its “bad debt” — bills left unpaid by patients — cut in half. Eight percent of the 133-bed hospital’s patients fell into the bad debt category in 2013, the year before Arkansas created the hybrid Medicaid expansion program known as the private option (later rebranded by Governor Hutchinson as “Arkansas Works”). Today, that figure is 4 percent, according to Harris Medical Center CEO Darrin Caldwell.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 - 04:12:00

Study: Arkansas tops nation for percentage of rural children on Medicaid

Almost two-thirds of children in Arkansas’s small towns and rural areas receive health care coverage through Medicaid, according to a report released Wednesday by researchers at Georgetown University and the University of North Carolina — the highest percentage of any state in the nation.

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Friday, May 5, 2017

Friday, May 5, 2017 - 21:14:00

Federal health bill would undercut governor’s plan for altered Medicaid expansion

On Thursday, the same day that Governor Hutchinson signed legislation approving “Arkansas Works 2.0,” his plan to enact changes to the state’s Medicaid expansion program, the U.S. House passed a bill that would undermine many of the program’s key tenets.

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Friday, May 5, 2017 - 07:43:00

Trump's 'victory' on health care. Look who's cheering.

The reviews are brutal on the health coverage bill passed by the Republican House yesterday. Good for the rich and healthy. Terrible for everyone else. And catastrophic in Arkansas.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 14:02:00

Governor's proposed cuts to Medicaid eligibility will increase costs for working poor; likely to increase uninsured rate

Speaking before a joint session of the legislature, which is reconvening this week for a special session, Hutchinson argued that these 60,000 Arkansans "will not lose access to coverage" and would get "the same level of financial support that they have now." The truth is a little more complicated.

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017 - 16:20:00

Trump health care bill's potential amendments don't help Tom Cotton with his Obamacare repeal dance

Trumpcare may be getting a makeover, but it won't address the concerns raised by Tom Cotton at last week's town hall.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 15:31:00

Congressional Republicans seek to defund Planned Parenthood

With Trump in office, Gov. Asa Hutchinson may get his wish to bar funding for all medical services to Planned Parenthood, with an assist from the GOP Congress.

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 17:38:00

Rapert files bill to delay medical marijuana amendment until federal law changes

On a Sunday morning sidewalk, Sen. Jason Rapert is NOT, Lord, wishing he was stoned.

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Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday, December 5, 2016 - 18:10:00

Bill filed to use tobacco settlement money for developmental disability waitlist

In September, the governor announced his intention to use tobacco settlement funds to substantially reduce the 3,000-person waiting list. It will still likely happen, but there's one new wrinkle now that didn't exist three months ago: President-elect Donald Trump.

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