House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman (R-Hot Springs) said state lawmakers are interested in hiring their own consultant to provide advice on potential changes to the state’s Medicaid program.
Westerman said legislators he’s talked to want “another set of eyes” to evaluate Medicaid beyond current information being provided by the Arkansas Department of Human Services. He said the consultant would be paid for by existing legislative funds.
“We’ve had to rely on what DHS has provided,” Westerman said at his weekly House Majority press conference. “We’ve been in talks to bring in a consultant to simply work for the legislature.”
State lawmakers are contemplating changes to the existing Medicaid program to shore up a projected $61 million deficit and a potential expansion of Medicaid as allowed under the new federal health care law.
Speaker of the House Davy Carter appeared on Talk Business last night to discuss the conversations taking place in the Medicaid debate as well as details surrounding legislative action on a proposed $1.1 billion steel mill superproject.
Carter said that Medicaid expansion is still on the table and that numerous conversations continue on the subject between House members, Senators and the executive branch of government.
You can view Carter’s interview below.