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Beebe to sign Medicaid bill Monday

Posted: April 18, 2013 at 2:19 p.m.

A spokesman says Gov. Mike Beebe will sign legislation next week that authorizes Arkansas to accept federal Medicaid funds and use them to buy private insurance for low-income residents.

Beebe will sign the bills at a ceremony next Monday at 9:30 a.m. The Legislature gave final approval to the plan Wednesday night.

Even after Arkansas adopts the "private option" Medicaid plan, it won't be implemented until federal officials sign off on the proposal. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has endorsed the concept but hasn't given permission for Arkansas' specific plan.

Republican legislative leaders and Beebe, a Democrat, promoted the Medicaid "private option" as an alternative to expanding the state's Medicaid enrollment under the federal health care law.

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