LITTLE ROCK, AR - Republicans in the Arkansas House believe a new report on the Department of Human Services shows signs of waste, fraud and abuse in Medicaid.
The report could play a role in the decision to expand the health insurance program to 250,000 Arkansans.
It's expected the general assembly will decide whether to expand Medicaid to an additional as part of the Affordable Health Care Act.
House majority leader Rep Bruce Westerman (R- Hot Springs) believes a 36-page report released Friday is evidence expansion is a bad idea.
"The way I read this report is just a small sampling of what's going on in DHS and it raises enough suspicions with the samples that were collected here that we've got a lot of questions to ask," Westerman says.
The Division of Legislative Audit says DHS doesn't do a good enough job documenting in-home health care providers and that could lead to improper payments. In the report , DHS disagrees with that finding.
Big picture, the report could be a factor for legislators not supporting Medicaid expansion, especially if some believe the report shows the current system has problems.
A few hours before its release, House speaker Davy Carter (R-Cabot) said he was not focusing on the findings of the report.
"Release the report. Look at it if it is relevant material,” Carter says. “I'm not jumping up and down about this report,"
Carter says he'll begin Medicaid talks with governor Mike Beebe next week about what options exist to address the state's largest insurance program.