The Arkansas plan is
drawing the attention of other Republican-controlled states like Texas and
Louisiana, since it intends to use federal funds to buy private insurance for
the most susceptible citizens without creating a major government expansion.
According to Obama's
health law - the government intends to cover at least 12 million people in the
next decade - thus expanding Medicaid.
plan is to use federal funds to cover state residents who earn 133% of the
poverty line or $15,415 per year. The insurance will be bought from health
To make this plan workable Arkansas House required a
majority of 75 votes - they had to expunge the result and re-vote a second time
to achieve the target.
Representative Sue Scott, a
Republican, voted against the bill on Monday, but voted in favor on Tuesday
after pressure from constituents.
"I've received too many
calls from real people," Scott said in explaining her change of vote.
The Democrats were also in
approval, "the private option is win-win for our state's economy, small businesses, and most
importantly, the working Arkansans who will have health care coverage, "said
Candace Martin, spokeswoman for the Democratic Party of Arkansas.
Provisions of the healthcare
reform law have been challenged in court cases around the country. In a
landmark ruling last June, the U.S. Supreme Court endorsed the healthcare
reform law on constitutional grounds but allowed states to opt out of the
The expansion has since been
accepted by governors in about half of the 50 U.S. states.
Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)
Parker, 17 April 2013