GOP lawmaker seeks Arkansas Medicaid audit

Sen. Bryan King, R-Green Forest, replaces his glasses after questioning the state budget director during a meeting of the Joint Budget Committee at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

LITTLE ROCK — A legislative subcommittee has approved a Republican lawmaker’s request for an audit of Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion.

The executive committee of the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee authorized the audit Thursday, which was requested by Republican Sen. Bryan King of Green Forest. King voted against legislation this year authorizing the state to use federal Medicaid money to buy private health insurance for low-income residents.

King says the audit is not “a witch hunt.” He says it’s important to “double check” numbers provided by state agencies. He says he is troubled after the Department of Human Services notified 40,000 recipients of food stamps this week that they were automatically assigned to health-insurance plans under the expansion.

Republican Rep. John Burris said the audit request is “theatrics.”

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