Impasse over Arkansas Medicaid expansion drags on

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Associated Press

Posted on February 21, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Updated Saturday, Feb 22 at 9:05 AM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Legislation continuing Arkansas' first-in-the-nation plan to use Medicaid funds to purchase insurance for the poor has failed before the state House for a fourth day in a row.

The House voted 71-18 Friday to reauthorize funding for the "private option," four votes shy of the 75 needed to continue the program that was approved last year as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health care law.

The Senate on Thursday voted to approve the legislation.

Arkansas was the first state to win federal approval for such a plan, and several other Republican-leaning states are exploring or pursuing similar models.

House leaders have said they'll continue to vote on the measure until it passes.

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