LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas lawmakers have sent to Gov. Mike Beebe legislation setting up a program to use federal Medicaid money to purchase private insurance for thousands of low-income residents. A separate budget bill still is pending.
Senators approved setting up a "private option" as an alternative to expanding Medicaid's enrollment under the federal health care law. Tuesday's vote was on a bill the House had amended.
The move came hours after the House passed the budget bill for the private option. The Senate is expected to take up that measure Wednesday, and 27 "yes" votes are required for passage.
Senators voted on Medicaid bills with identical language Tuesday, passing the Senate version 28-7 but registering a 26-9 vote on the House version.
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