Senator waiting to see where health bill goes

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    By John R. Schirmer
    News-Leader staff

    Sen. Larry Teague of Nashville is taking a wait-and-see approach to the new national health care bill under consideration this week in Washington, D.C. The proposal faces a tough battle to win passage in the U.S. Senate, according to political observers.

    Teague said he hasn’t “spent a lot of time on the details” of the proposal. “I’m not convinced that it will pass. I’m not getting too uptight until we see where it will go.”

    Early drafts of the bill show that it could end much of the funding that made it possible to expand Medicaid to cover more than 14 million low-income adults in the United States.

    Other cuts are also possible.

    In Arkansas, more than 300,000 people could be affected. (See page 4A of this week’s paper for an analysis of the bill’s potential effects on Arkansans.)

    Teague said that Arkansas officials “haven’t heard on the waivers that we requested. We assume they’re talking about it” in Washington.

    The state’s plan for matching Arkansas Works recipients with jobs appears to be successful, Teague said. “About 6,000 have jobs.”

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