If you like your plan you can’t keep it.
Lawmakers and angry residents will almost certainly blame the president for this, but let it be known that Republican holdouts in the Arkansas state legislature are preparing to tell tens of thousands of people who currently have healthcare that they can no longer have it.
On Tuesday, the Arkansas House of Representatives voted not to fund a continuation of the state’s alternative to the Affordable Care Act’s optional Medicaid expansion, effectively stripping as many as 96,000 of the state’s poorest residents of their current health coverage. The state Senate is expected to take up the measure on Wednesday and the House will likely re-visit the issue later this week, when supporters expect it to gain final passage.
That’s 96,000 people out of a pool of 250,000 who have been deemed eligible for the expanded program in Arkansas. And if the legislature fails to appropriate funds for the expansion, all 250,000 will lose their eligibility for the federally-funded program.
The program which currently provides healthcare to 96,000 low-income residents is funded by the federal government, not the state. The federal government will cover 100 percent of the cost until 2016 and 90 percent of the cost for the foreseeable future.
In essence, a minority of state lawmakers want to kick people off their plans because they just don’t like it, not because it’s costing them money.
The money to pay for this expansion has already been allocated by the federal government but the state legislature has to authorize its use.