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Uninsured Numbers Down in Arkansas with Private Option

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- A Gallup report released Tuesday shows that Arkansas outpaced the rest of the country in reducing the rate of uninsured residents during the first six months of 2014.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- A Gallup report released Tuesday shows that Arkansas outpaced the rest of the country in reducing the rate of uninsured residents during the first six months of 2014.

Governor Mike Beebe said, "When we worked with the Arkansas Legislature to pass the Private Option, we said it would make Arkansas a national leader for innovative health-care solutions, and this report proves that to be true"

The Surgeon General of Arkansas, Dr. Joe Thompson said, "I think this is a huge win for Arkansas citizens on many different fronts."

"The Affordable Care Act wasn't perfect, and it disrupted a lot of things, but we found a way to actually use it in a good way for Arkansas."

The poll shows the Natural State's uninsured rate fell from 22.5% to 12.4%.

Dr. Thompson added, "These are real people with real problems, that haven't been able to go to the doctor because they didn't have an insurance card, and now we have 45 percent more of those individuals with an insurance card able to go seek care."

State Rep. David Meeks (R), voted against the Private Option, he said, "I think the uninsured number is, you know, a good thing, because we definitely want people to have access to health care."

Rep. Meeks said despite the numbers, the plan needs a lot of work, "I think that if the private option is to continue, I think it is going to have to be reformed in order to make it sustainable."

Dr. Thompson hopes the health of Arkansans will take priority over politics, "We've got positive result on coverage, if we can keep this together and gain the support of the next legislative body, then I think we'll be able to move out ahead and distance ourselves from other states as the place that people want to live."


(KARK, Little Rock)
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