Arkansas lawmakers have approved a measure aimed at protecting Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s use of a veto to save the state’s hybrid Medicaid expansion.

The House and Senate on Friday approved identical versions of a bill to set a Dec. 31, 2021, end date for the program, which uses federal funds to purchase private insurance for the poor.

The House approved the bill on a 68-25 vote and the Senate approved it 24-10. Final votes on the measure are expected Monday.

The bill is aimed at protecting Hutchinson’s decision to veto a portion of the Medicaid budget that would have ended the program Dec. 31. Hutchinson and legislative leaders devised the line-item veto approach to break a standoff over the program during the fiscal session last month.

Opponents of the line-item veto strategy have predicted it’ll be challenged in court.

Read Saturday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

Lawmakers OK effort to protect Medicaid plan
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