Liberals and establishment Republicans said adopting Medicaid Expansion would solve Arkansas’ Medicaid funding needs.
Do you remember when in 2012 when former Governor Mike Beebe – D told us – Arkansas has to adopt Obamacare Medicaid Expansion to avoid a $460 Medicaid shortfall – and then once it passed he quit talking about a shortfall even though Medicaid Expansion wouldn’t be in effect for almost a year.
Why was Medicaid Expansion supposed to save us? The influx of federal money was supposed to stimulate the economy and offset cost. Somehow the solution was supposed to be the adding to the Medicaid roles over 300 thousand[i] working age people, most of whom do not work.
(In Arkansas Medicaid Expansion is known as “Private Option” and has been renamed by Governor Asa Hutchinson as “Arkansas Works.”)
“The state plans to finance its $100 million share of Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion in fiscal 2018 with about $75 million in state general revenue and $25 million from insurance premium taxes, said state budget administrator Duncan Baird after the budget hearing.”[ii]
You are not supposed to worry about the $90 million since the state calls the money “surplus.” Arkansas doesn’t have a real surplus. What remains of General Revenues at the end of a fiscal year is called “surplus” but the supposed surplus is all spent in the following fiscal year. Obamacare Medicaid Expansion is competing with state agencies and local governments for the so-called surplus.
[ii] $5.48B state budget sought, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 11/10/2016