Arkansas Moves Away From Obamacare Medicaid Expansion


Arkansas’ so-called “Private Option” Obamacare Medicaid expansion has been a policy misadventure and a political landmine. Costs ran overbudget every single month last year. The Medicaid director who spearheaded the program abruptly resigned to “pursue other opportunities.” And voters overwhelmingly dumped pro-Obamacare legislators last election season, including the program’s chief legislative architect.

The debate over whether to end the Obamacare expansion seemed to be settled, with the only remaining question being how to end it.

Newly-elected Governor Asa Hutchinson announced last month that he wanted little more than to change the name of the state’s Medicaid welfare expansion, recommending the legislature keep the Private Option for another two years and set up a task force to develop a “new coverage model” for the able-bodied adults enrolled in the program. From that point, the state would move forward with a newly-branded Medicaid expansion that would continue indefinitely.

Although Gov. Hutchinson’s vision may ultimately come to pass, the legislature has put forward a more decisive escape plan for the state – one that at long last leads to the end of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.

Read the full article on Forbes by Jonathan Ingram and Josh Archambault.