- Associated Press - Thursday, February 4, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is calling his meeting with federal officials this week a “good start” to his proposal to add new limitations to the state’s hybrid Medicaid expansion.

The Republican governor told reporters Thursday he’ll give lawmakers more details at a hearing Feb. 17 on the negotiations to keep the expansion and add new restrictions on its eligibility and limits. The “private option” expansion uses federal money to purchase private insurance for low-income residents.

Hutchinson and legislative leaders met with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell in Washington on Monday to discuss the proposals.

More than 200,000 people are on the program, which Hutchinson wants to rename “Arkansas Works.” Hutchinson has proposed requiring some on the program pay premiums and adding a workforce training referral requirement.

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