LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Arkansas' Surgeon General Dr. Joe Thompson sits down in the THV Information Center to break down a series of questions many of us are asking on the brink of possible change.
For the average Arkansan, it really means, 'how do we help the poorest of our citizens get the care they need so that they don't clog our emergency rooms up when they have to get care.' And, so they don't cost those of us who are paying health insurance through a hidden tax, through a transfer so that we're paying for their care when we seek care and pay our premiums," explains Dr. Thompson.
When asked who is covered now and who will be impacted by the change, Dr. Thompson replies, "In Arkansas, we have one of the most restricted Medicaid programs in the nation. To be on Medicaid today, an adult who doesn't have kids and isn't pregnant has to be disabled for 12 months. Their family can have no more than $2,000 in assets, and as an individual, they have to make less than $3,000 a year. So, the expansion requires us to go to a higher level of coverage and get rid of those asset tests, giving the poorest of our citizens a mechanism to help pay for their care."