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House Speaker & Private Option Opponents In Talks

Arkansas House Speaker Davy Carter, R-Cabot, described meetings with a group opposed to the private option appropriation Wednesday as "productive."
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas House Speaker Davy Carter, R-Cabot, described meetings with a group opposed to the private option appropriation Wednesday as "productive."

The House of Representatives did not vote on the $915 million appropriation for a second consecutive day.

Carter told reporters before the meeting he remained hopeful another vote could take place later this week.

"I've been talking yesterday, been talking today and will continue to do that," Carter says. "I don't know, maybe tomorrow we can get this resolved. I'm always hopeful and optimistic that we will."

A group of 27 Republican House members remain opposed to reauthorizing Medicaid expansion in Arkansas for a second year.

The federal dollars are made available as part of the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress in 2010.

The federal government pays the entire cost of the expansion for the next two years. Arkansas commitment to the program will cap out at ten percent in 2020.

The Arkansas Department of Human Services said Wednesday 189,379 people have applied for the private option. Of those, 127,051 have been deemed qualified.

The Arkansas Senate approved the spending bill on February 21.

"We're all committed here to make that (budget) happen and we will, we'll get it done and we'll work our way through this," Carter says.
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