With coverage for 100,000 residents on the line, neither the Arkansas House nor the Senate wants to be the first to approve continuing the state’s Medicaid expansion plan.
The Legislature is wrapped up this week in debates over renewing funding for the state’s “private option” program, which accepts federal funds for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act and uses them to buy private plans on the exchange.
The House voted 68-27 to approve the funding Wednesday, but it was seven votes short of passage. This followed a 70-27 House vote Tuesday.
Arkansas requires a 75 percent approval to pass spending bills, leaving the legislation in a kind of limbo until one side can muster a supermajority. Votes are continuing this week until a few members cave.
Both the House and Senate likely have the votes to ultimately pass the amended “private option” plan, but each wants to wait for the other to go first, according to the Arkansas Times. Both chambers were originally scheduled to vote on the bill Wednesday, but the Senate postponed its vote.
“We’re just going to wait on the House,” Senate President Pro Tem Michael Lamoureux said. “Just one more day. We’re not in any particular hurry.”
Senate leaders say they have the necessary 27 votes to approve the bill once it comes to a vote, though nothing can be certain with such a narrow margin.
Meanwhile, some say enough House members would flip their vote to approve the bill, once it is passed in the Senate. Republican House Speaker Davy Carter has said the House will continue voting until the bill is passed.
The Senate is scheduled to vote on the private option Thursday morning, with the House following in the afternoon.
What We're Following See More »
Just a day after Donald Trump called her a bigot, Hillary Clinton delivered a scathing speech tying Trump to the KKK and so-called “alt-right.” This new frontier of debate between the two candidates has emerged at a time when Trump has been seeking to appeal to minority voters, among whom he has struggled to garner support. Calling him “profoundly dangerous,” Clinton didn’t hold back on her criticisms of Trump. “He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party,” Clinton said.
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 51%-41% in a new Quinnipiac poll released today. Her lead shrinks to seven points when the third-party candidates are included. In that scenario, she leads 45%-38%, with Gary Johnson pulling 10% and Jill Stein at 4%.
Is the Clinton family backtracking on some of its promises to insulate the White House from the Clinton Foundation? Opposition researchers will certainly try to portray it that way. A foundation spokesman said yesterday that Chelsea Clinton will stay on its board, and that the "foundation’s largest project, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, might continue to accept foreign government and corporate funding."
"Four Iranian ships made reckless maneuvers close to a U.S. warship this week, the Pentagon said Thursday, in an incident that officials said could have led to dangerous escalation." The four Iranian vessels engaged in a "high-speed intercept" of a U.S. destroyer in the Strait of Hormuz. A Navy spokesman said the Iranina actions "created a dangerous, harassing situation that could have led to further escalation including additional defensive measures" by the destroyer.