Ark. plan targeting federal health overhaul fails

The Associated Press reports that Arkansas lawmakers have rejected an attempt to block the state from spending federal money to implement the national health care overhaul program. The Joint Budget Committee today voted down a proposal to deposit any federal money for the overhaul into a separate state account. The proposed amendment to the state Insurance Department budget by Rep. Jason Rapert of Bigelow would have required the Legislature to approve spending any federal money for the health care law.

Rapert said the state has about 20 months before it’s required to set up health insurance exchanges and that his plan would’ve given time to see if the overhaul withstands court challenges. After the vote, Rapert withdrew a hold he had put on the state Insurance Department’s budget.

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