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Fighting elephants.
Republican leaders in both the state House and Senate in Arkansas want the economic and public health benefits of continuing the state's partially privatized Medicaid expansion next year. But a tiny minority of extremists are still fighting to kick at least 85,000 people out of coverage in 2015. Last week saw repeated attempts in the House to approve the reauthorization of the program, which the Senate has passed, and leadership vows to keep voting until they pass it. Failure to reauthorize the expansion won't just throw tens of thousands out of the program, it will mean real economic losses for the state.
Governor Mike Beebe, a Democrat who helped craft the plan with Republican lawmakers who control the statehouse, said failure to pass the funding could blow a hole in the budget. [...]

He warned that failure to pass the funding could lead to a loss of $89 million in projected savings coming from the Private Option, prompting drastic cuts in services.

House Speaker Davy Carter, a Republican and a Private Option supporter, has expressed confidence that funding will eventually be secured. The House will probably vote on the bill on Tuesday, and every day after that until it passes, he said.

Beebe says they are just two votes shy in the House, after weeks of complicated horse trades and compromises.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 11:11 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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