Arkansas panel endorses reauthorizing Medicaid expansion

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A legislative panel has endorsed keeping Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion another year despite uncertainty about a federal lawsuit challenging the program’s work requirement.

The Joint Budget Committee on Tuesday approved the budget for the state’s Medicaid program and its hybrid Medicaid expansion. Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion uses federal and state funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents.

The bill advanced as officials are waiting for a judge to rule on a lawsuit challenging the work requirement the state began enforcing last year on the expansion. The bill now heads to the Senate for a vote.

The budget bill needs three-fourths support in the Senate and House to be approved and sent to the governor’s desk.

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