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Lawmakers tackle 'Private Option' | Politics

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Lawmakers tackle 'Private Option'

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Arkansas legislature will meet on Monday to begin the state's third fiscal session.

One of the biggest decisions they face - is whether to fund what's known as the "Private Option".

State Representative John Burris joined THV's Alyse Eady with more.

DHS officials told lawmakers on Tuesday that there's no time restriction for the state to end the "private option" that was approved last year as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health care law. Under the private option, Arkansas is using federal Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for thousands of low-income residents.

Opponents of the plan have questioned whether the federal waiver for the program complies with the state law authorizing it.

One of the things discussed was what happens if the Private Option is defunded.
1. Revenue for the state will decrease by $89 million
2. Small business owners could face fines
3. Hospitals and clinics could face closures or job cuts

(Contributing: The Associated Press)