The proposed waivers enabling the “Private Option” are open for public comment and we’ve heard from the usual suspects opposed to the policy — but the loudest complaints have come from a group strongly in favor of the Private Option plan for Medicaid expansion: the state’s community health centers. Nine of the 11 letters submitted to DHS, and a substantial portion of the commentary at the public meetings, have come from Arkansas’ twelve federally qualified heath centers (FQHCs), which operate 83 health center sites serving more than 160,000 patients. At issue is a proposed change in reimbursement that the centers argue would put them out of business. With both Republican lawmakers and health-center leaders digging in their heels, the controversy has the potential to pose trouble for the implementation of the Private Option.

The hubbub is a bit complicated — dive in to the policy weeds after the jump…