Governor Hutchinson Issues Statement on Trump Administration’s ‘Healthy Adult Opportunity’ Announcement

Governor Asa Hutchinson today issued a statement about the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) announcement of the Healthy Adult Opportunity. This initiative modernizes Medicaid to create a stronger federal-state partnership and provides each state with the opportunity to design health-coverage programs to meet the unique needs of its adult beneficiaries.

“The announcement today by the Trump administration giving states the opportunity to apply for a block grant is good news for everyone who believes the states should have more flexibility in managing one of the most expensive items in a state’s budget and managing the delivery of health care services to the most vulnerable citizens. 

“The block-grant authority is something that we’ve asked for, and I applaud CMS Administrator Seema Verma and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar for leaning forward to recognize that the states can manage these types of health care programs in an effective way.

“At this point, we have the Arkansas Works waiver. But we will immediately begin to review the specific model and guidelines that the Trump administration issued today to see how this would fit into an Arkansas-type approach for providing health care to the expanded Medicaid population. It should be noted that the Arkansas General Assembly has already passed legislation that directs the state of Arkansas to pursue a block-grant waiver once it is authorized by the federal government. I look forward to working with legislators as well as the Trump administration on the next steps for Arkansas.”