At a Thursday press conference at the state Capitol, Governor Hutchinson argued for changing three critical components of the health care legislation introduced last week by fellow Republicans in the U.S. Senate, the Better Care Reconciliation Act.
Like similar legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in May, the new Senate bill would also institute major cuts to the traditional Medicaid program, potentially affecting coverage for millions of children, elderly people and disabled adults nationwide.
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.
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.
The Arkansas Legislature was considering whether to approve Governor Hutchinson’s proposed changes to the state’s Medicaid expansion on Tuesday. In addition to adding work requirements, the governor wants to cut eligibility, removing around 60,000 Arkansans from Medicaid coverage, with the idea that they would move to the subsidized Affordable Care Act marketplaces or employer-sponsored plans.