Arkansas Senate approves bill to expand Medicaid

Arkansas lawmakers have approved legislation expanding Medicaid coverage for the poor.

The Senate approved the bill Wednesday, 38-15.

The House approved the legislation Wednesday, 39-13.

The legislation would extend coverage to more than 8.5 million Arkansans.

The measure passed with bipartisan support.

It will be heard in the Senate on Thursday.

The state will be better off, and our children will be stronger. “

This is a historic victory for the people of Arkansas and our state.

The state will be better off, and our children will be stronger.

We have accomplished a tremendous amount in two years and this is just another example of that.”

House Speaker Mark Eason said in an emotional statement that “our time is now.”

He said that the bill “significantly expands access to affordable and quality care” and that the “state will be even stronger when our citizens have access to health care.”

House Minority Leader Michael Howell, R-Fort Smith, called the vote a “big victory” for Arkancans.

House Minority Whip Scott Taylor, R/T, said the bill is “an important step forward” in “making the Arkancas health care more affordable.”

The bill passed with no Republican support.

The bill will now go to Gov.

Asa Hutchinson.

Republican Gov.

Mike Beebe, who has been a vocal opponent of the legislation, called for a “pause” in Medicaid expansion.

Beebe said he is concerned about the cost of expansion.

He said the state needs to work with the federal government on the details.

The governor has said he wants to “determine whether we have the right model, the right formula.”

The federal government has pledged to expand the program by 2022.

The Arkansas House approved an amendment Tuesday that would allow adults who make less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level to apply for a waiver from the Medicaid expansion requirements.

The proposal also would allow individuals to stay on Medicaid indefinitely if they earn less than 133 percent of poverty.

The bill would provide an income threshold for Medicaid expansion and would set the income threshold at 125 percent of federal poverty.

The increase would come into effect in 2019.