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Supporters of Private Option Rally at State Capitol

The group "Arkansans for Care" hosted the rally at the State Capitol on Thursday.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas lawmakers are still more than six weeks away from returning for a budget session, but supporters of the private option are pushing for its continuation now.

The group "Arkansans for Care" hosted the rally at the State Capitol on Thursday with the emphasis on renewing the "private option" and providing positive accounts of signing up for insurance on the healthcare exchange.

The rally included a large card that opened to say "thank you legislators for finding a bipartisan solution to healthcare" which participants could sign.

Cat French of Little Rock says she has not signed up for coverage on the exchange but has not incurred problems receiving information on plans available.

"This is a great option for someone like me with a preexisting condition," French says.

Cardria Mitchell is one of over 500 people trained in the state to serve as a licensed navigator. Mitchell says much of her work is providing education and assistance to uninsured residents in Phillips County.

"A lot of people in our county do not have insurance," Mitchell says. "They have part time jobs like working at the gas station where it's not affordable and its not offered to them."

Lawmakers will return to Little Rock in February for a fiscal session that is expected to include a vote to continue funding the private option.

The legislation provides coverage to an estimated 200,000 uninsured residents through the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
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