Jared Henderson, the Democratic candidate for governor, has rapped Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s administration for going to an Internet-only procedure for verifying eligibility for expanded Medicaid coverage under new work requirements.

His release:


Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jared Henderson called Asa Hutchinson’s plan of requiring Medicaid recipients to sign up via the internet irresponsible in a state that ranks 49th in internet connectivity.

661,000 Arkansans have access to only one wired provider, 230,000 people have no providers where they live at all. Reports that a large number of enrollees are not completing the requirements show that a lack of internet access is clearly having a horrible impact.

“Asa Hutchinson’s plan requiring Medicaid recipients to sign-up via the internet will devastate Arkansans’ access to health care, especially in the rural parts of our state. Getting quality, affordable health care should not be based on whether you have access to a computer or the internet. When people are eventually kicked off of Medicaid for being unable to report, the financial burden will be placed back on our rural hospitals which struggle to remain open given the rising costs of uncompensated care. Arkansans deserve smarter and more responsible government than this. Families are finding it increasingly difficult to cover the rising cost of health insurance, and they deserve leadership that will help them take on this struggle in an honest way. This ill-conceived plan to implement Medicaid only allows enrollees to report in a a complicated, online system despite our state ranking 49th in internet connectivity.,” Henderson said.