AR Senate votes to continue private option - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

AR Senate votes to continue private option

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Senate has voted to continue the state's compromise Medicaid expansion plan, sending the funding bill for the nationally-watched program to an uncertain fate in the House.

The Senate on Thursday voted 27-8 to reauthorize funding for the "private option" that was approved last year as an alternative to the Medicaid expansion under the federal health care law. Through the private option, Arkansas is using federal Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for thousands of low-income residents.

The measure needed at least 27 votes in the 35-member Senate.

Its future remains uncertain in the House, where identical legislation has failed twice. The 100-member chamber planned to vote on the proposal Thursday afternoon.

Arkansas was the first state to win federal approval for such a compromise and several other states are exploring or pursuing similar models.

Channel 7's Janelle Lilley is at the legislature today and will have an update on Live at Five.