Arkansas Senate rejects effort to seek enrollment freeze in compromise Medicaid plan

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — An effort to stop signing people up for Arkansas' compromise Medicaid expansion has failed in the state Senate.

The Senate voted 15-13 Thursday against the bill to require the state to seek approval from the federal government to freeze enrollment in the "private option," which uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for the poor. The program was crafted as an alternative to the Medicaid expansion envisioned under the federal health law.

State officials have said the federal government has told them they won't approve an enrollment freeze.

Lawmakers last month voted to continue the private option another year while a task force looks at alternatives for covering the thousands of people on the program.

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