Arkansas State Capitol, Little Rock
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A proposal for Arkansas to use federal Medicaid money to purchase health care coverage for low-income residents has cleared a preliminary hurdle in the state House.
Lawmakers voted 62-37 Thursday for legislation authorizing the program, but the measure failed to capture the 75 votes needed for final approval.
The program's start hinges on approval from federal officials and a three-fourths supermajority in both chambers on a separate budget bill to fund the plan.
The Senate endorsed "private option" proposal last week on a 24-9 vote - three votes shy of the supermajority needed in that chamber.
Some lawmakers were urging a delay on the final votes on the proposal, arguing they need more time to analyze the plan and explain it to their constituents.
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(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)