Gov. Asa Hutchinson met reporters this afternoon to praise the legislature for resolving in eight days the multi-million-dollar question of continuation of the state’s private option version of the Medicaid expansion financed by the federal Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
This came as he vetoed the portion of the billing ending the program, now called Arkansas Works, but signing the rest of the bill.
“I’m very pleased,” the governor said. He added that he applauded “the spirit of co-operation, the bipartisan nature and a result good for Arkansas.” He said now the state could move ahead on other important issues, including a future session on a highway program.
He specifically singled out two Democrats — Rep. Clarke Tucker of Little Rock for his work on legal nuances of the line item veto scheme used to pass the bill, and Sen. Stephanie Flowers who disliked the maneuver, but gave the issue a critical vote in the interest of 270,000 people covered by the program.
He said he believed people of Arkansas would say “we’ve done something good.”