LITTLE ROCK, AR – The decision to provide appropriations for Private Option along with another to create a task force to review overall healthcare in the State have both passed the House.

Senate Bill 101 passed 82-16. It provides the funding need to continue Arkansas’s Private Option for the next two years. It’s on its way to the Governor’s desk waiting for his signature.

Senate Bill 96 passed 80-16. It will ultimately end the Private Option December 31, 2016 while creating a task force to look at the overall healthcare issues in the State. This Bill will go back to the Senate for a final vote.
Some opponents of the bills say by allowing this to happen some legislators are not fulfilling campaign promises to end Private Option. 

House Speaker Jeremy Gillam, R-Judsonia, says this is about faith and trust in the process.

“So I think we’ve pivoted to a larger picture and I think it’s one that the citizens of this state deserve us to be looking at,” Gillam said after the vote. “I think this task force and the Governor, I think, are gonna be very much focused on making sure that we come up with solutions that will move our state forward.”

Governor Hutchinson released a statement Thursday saying,

“The vote in the House today on the Health Reform Task Force bill and accompanying appropriation was a bipartisan effort and represents the right step forward as we seek ways to best reform Medicaid in Arkansas.

“I am grateful for the confidence that the legislature has placed in the task force and the opportunity it represents to guide the future of health care reform in Arkansas.”

For the time being the private option has life for the next two years, pending the Governor’s signature.