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History of Arkansas’s Medicaid Program (1970-2013)

June 1, 2015

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Joseph W. Thompson, MD, MPH
President & CEO
501-526-2244
achi@achi.net

 

The concept for Medicaid was first introduced to Congress by Arkansan Wilbur D. Mills, then Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, as an addition to the creation of Medicare. Both were federally enacted in 1965.  Medicare is a federally administered program to provide health coverage for the elderly. Medicaid is a state administered program to provide healthcare coverage for the impoverished and disabled. State participation in the Medicaid program is optional through Title XIX of the Social Security Act of 1965. Arkansas exercised the federal option in 1970 after having operated a state-based indigent medical care program since 1939. Act 416 of 1977 vested responsibility for Medicaid with the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS).

This in-depth document covers the history of Medicaid, eligibility, funding, services provided with Medicaid both required and optional, Medicaid waivers, population/budget impact, and a timeline from 1970 to 2013.