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Beebe Says Private Option Support "Tenuous"

Arkansas governor Mike Beebe told a luncheon crowd that predictions about deep cuts in the state budget "are not scare tactics" if the private option is not renewed.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas governor Mike Beebe told a luncheon crowd that predictions about deep cuts in the state budget "are not scare tactics" if the private option is not renewed.

Beebe addressed the Political Animals Club in Little Rock at the governor's mansion on Wednesday.

Beebe told the crowd a great majority of legislators support the private option.

"But if 75 out of 100 in the House and 27 of 35 Senate don't say yes, it's not enough," Beebe says.

A handful of lawmakers have stated publicly they will not vote to reauthorize a $905 million federal appropriation to continue Medicaid expansion in Arkansas for a second year.

Lawmakers approved the "private option" in April 2013. The legislation allows those without insurance to be placed on plans paid for with Medicaid but managed by private insurance carriers.

The Department of Human Services said Wednesday that 98,145 are eligible for the insurance program as of January 25th.
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