Committee to look at privatized Medicaid plans
BATON ROUGE - A state Senate committee scheduled to meet this afternoon will look at compromises other states have made with the Obama administration over expanding health coverage for the poor.
Governor Bobby Jindal said he would not accept the Medicaid expansion under the president's health care reforms, saying it was inappropriate growth of a government entitlement program. However, other GOP-controlled states are finding ways to do so without directly accepting a Medicaid expansion.
The Senate Committee on Health and Welfare is scheduled to hear from Arkansas Medicaid representatives this afternoon. Arkansas's Democratic governor, Mike Beebe, won the support of the Obama administration and the state's Republican-controlled legislature with a plan to privatize coverage for the poor.
Beebe's plan called for the state to pay for insurance policies with private carriers which cover residents below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. The state would then be reimbursed through the federal Medicaid expansion. The Obama administration signed off on the plan this past February, and encouraged other states to look to it as a possible model.
News 2's Mike Steele will have more on what comes out of the committee meeting tonight starting at 4 p.m.