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Health Care

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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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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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 16:11:00

Hutchinson wants Medicaid block grant to include Obamacare funds in its scope

If traditional Medicaid spending is block-granted, what happens to the expansion money? John Brummett reports that Gov. Hutchinson hopes the tap keeps flowing.

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday, November 28, 2016 - 08:25:00

Medicaid expansion could be on chopping block, but some red-state governors want to keep it

GOP governors in states that expanded Medicaid want the coverage expansion to continue, but it's potentially on the chopping block with the election of Donald Trump. That includes Arkansas, where more than 300,000 Arkansans have coverage through the private option, the state's unique version of Medicaid expansion.

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016 - 14:25:00

Study finds that Medicaid expansion has improved access to care in Arkansas

A new study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine finds that poor Americans in states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare have better access to medical care they need.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - 20:38:00

Restructuring DHS business functions just the beginning, director says

The unanswerable question is whether Gillespie's proposed changes to the department's "core business structures" will introduce much-needed accountability and efficiency to DHS, or whether they'll simply add a new layer of bureaucracy.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 10:33:00

"Arkansas Works" backers propose new version of amendment to shore up legal concerns about line-item-veto strategy

Sen. Jim Hendren today released a new version of the amendment to implement the governor's plan to pass the Medicaid expansion via a scheme using the line-item veto. The revision is an attempt to alleviate legal concerns about the governor's approach.

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