When the Arkansas legislature ended its fiscal session in February, the prospect of health care reform was still in question.
With the new law’s passage, House Public Health Committee Chairman Rep. Gregg Reep (D-Warren) says he wants a series of discussions to occur through his interim committee to help the state prepare for the new law’s pending implementation.
“I have been looking for ways for us to get a better briefing on this,” Reep tells Talk Business. “The committee, myself, state agencies and the people need to try to learn as much as we can.”
A joint public health committee has set an April 20th meeting date at the state capitol, but its agenda is already pretty packed. Still, Reep says he wants to find a way to add a discussion of the new law on to the agenda in order to avoid the costs of holding special meetings on the subject.
“We need to try to stay within our budget,” Reep said.
He envisions an initial report being made by representatives of the Arkansas Department of Human Services, the agency that may oversee the biggest state impact of the new federal law.
By some estimates, the new reforms could impact the state’s budget by as much as $100 to $200 million.
Reep says he may also ask Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford to present an update.
“How these changes may impact the insurance companies could also have an effect on many other areas of the health care industry,” Reep explained.