Arkansans Paying Higher Percent of Their Income for Welfare Health Programs than Other States

  This article can be found online at this link:






For more information and documentation of these facts, see the article in detail  after the list  below.


Note ALL the other health programs below.

Also note they can be accessed in Spanish and ARKIDS and Family Applications are provided in Spanish.


How many of them are funded at 200% federal poverty level?  And do you see ANYTHING  that has been left out?  And how many of these programs is Arkansas funding that other states are not.  Have any of the legislators researched this out to see where we stand in relationship to other states in the amount of funding of these other health programs before they vote for a tax to expand them?


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Service Directory

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Family Services

General Family Services

Includes Medicaid Eligibility Categories


(Information about any of the services listed below is available

in Spanish by calling 800-482-8988)


ARKids First

888-474-8275     (English)

800-482-8988     (Spanish)


ARKids First provides health insurance to children who otherwise might not get medical care.  The program offers two coverage options.  ARKids A offers low-income children a comprehensive benefits package.  ARKids B provides limited coverage for slightly higher income families.  ARKids B requires a small co-pay for most services.


Commodity Distribution Program



This program processes and distributes raw commodities donated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to schools and other eligible recipient agencies in Arkansas that participate in the National School Lunch Program and Summer Food Service Program.


Community Services Block Grant Program



The Community Services Block Grant Program provides funds to support services and activities that are designed to assist low-income families to become self-sufficient.  Services are provided through the 16 Community Action Agencies in the state. 


Disaster Services



This program provides financial assistance to families affected by state and federally declared disasters that meet income and other criteria. 


Emergency Food Assistance Program


 This program distributes commodities to food banks, soup kitchens, shelters and other

 nonprofit agencies.  Donated foods are also made available for Disaster Assistance. 


Emergency Shelter Grants Program


The Emergency Shelter Grants Program assists local communities in helping to improve the quality of life for the homeless by providing grants for minor renovations, rehabilitation or conversion of buildings for the homeless, funds for payments of certain operating and maintenance expenses, funds for social services expenses, and homeless prevention efforts.


Food Stamp Program


The Food Stamp Program provides food assistance to eligible households to cover a portion of an eligible household’s food budget.  Benefits are distributed through Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT).  In addition to food assistance, the program provides food stamp recipients with nutrition education, employment & training, and work experience. 

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program 


The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides financial assistance to approximately 60,000 households each year to help them meet the costs of home energy. It also offers weatherization services and case management activities designed to encourage households to reduce their energy costs and need for financial  assistance.  For information, please contact this unit or your local Community Action  Agency.



1-800-482-8988 for information on eligibility and enrollment

1-800-482-5431 for information on services covered by Medicaid

Medicaid reimburses health care providers for covered medical services provided to eligible needy individuals in certain categories. Eligibility is determined based on income, resources, Arkansas residency, and other requirements.  Covered services also vary among categories.


Categories are summarized below under two headings, Aged, Blind & Disabled Categories and Children & Family Categories.


 Medicaid Aged, Blind and Disabled Categories

  • Individuals aged 65 and older who meet income; resource and other requirements are eligible for full Medicaid coverage.

  • Individuals who are determined blind or disabled individuals based on Social Security Administration criteria who meet income, resource and other requirements are eligible for full Medicaid coverage. 

  • Medicare Savings Program provides limited coverage to supplement Medicare recipients.  Coverage varies based on income, ranging from payment of the Medicare premiums, deductibles and co-insurance for low-income individuals to paying only a portion of the Medicare Part B premium for individuals with higher incomes.

  • Long Term Care - Individuals who are residents of nursing homes may qualify for Medicaid if the care in the facility is medically necessary and they meet income, resource and other criteria.  

  • ElderChoices covers individuals age 65 and older who would be eligible if they were in a nursing facility, but choose to remain at home.  

  • Alternatives for Adults with Physical Disabilities covers individuals who are physically disabled and between the ages of 21 and 65 who would be eligible for Medicaid if they were in a nursing facility, but choose to remain at home.

  • DDS Alternative Community Services covers individuals of any age who are determined to be developmentally disabled, who would be eligible for Medicaid if they were in a nursing facility, but choose to remain at home.

  • Working Disabled provides full coverage to disabled individuals who are working.  Individuals with lower income pay the normal Medicaid co-pays.  Individuals with higher income pay higher co-pays.

Medicaid Children & Family Categories

  • Needy children under age 19 who meet income, resource and other requirements are eligible for full Medicaid coverage under the ARKids program.

  • A parent or other caretaker relative of children under age 18 with an absent, disabled or unemployed parent who meet income, resource and other requirements is eligible for full Medicaid coverage 

  • Needy pregnant women who meet income, resource and other requirements are eligible for full Medicaid coverage 

  •  Pregnant women with income up to 200% of Federal Poverty Level may be eligible for limited coverage if they meet certain income, resource and other criteria, including prenatal, delivery, postpartum and conditions which may complicate the pregnancy.  Coverage continues through the pregnancy and until the end of the month that the 60th day postpartum falls. 

  • Family Planning provides limited coverage that includes family planning services only to women of childbearing age and who also meet income, resources and other criteria.

Refugee Resettlement Program


This program assists newly arrived eligible refugees to assimilate into the American way of life.  The program offers financial and medical services to eligible refugees for up to five years.  


Transitional Employment Assistance (TEA)


TEA is a time-limited assistance program to help needy families with children become more responsible for their own support and less dependent on public assistance.  In addition to monthly cash assistance, employment-related services are provided to parents, including job-readiness activities, transportation assistance, childcare assistance, and other supportive services so that the parent can engage in work or education and training activities.  


Weatherization Assistance Program 


This program installs energy conservation materials and appliance in the homes of 1300 low-income families annually to lower the utility bills.  Materials generally installed include insulation; duct sealing, weather-stripping and caulking doors and windows, replacement of broken windows and health and safety measures that are required prior to weatherization.



Arkansans Paying Higher Percent of Their Income for Welfare Health Programs than Other States

Do We Need More With Cigarette Tax?


The cigarette tax, according to the Governor, will fund 23 health programs in Arkansas with $178 million in 2010 combined state and federal funds.  1

Arkansas, despite having the 2nd lowest per capita and median income in the nation, is already providing many health programs to people with higher incomes than other states are providing. In other words, Arkansans are paying a much higher percent of their income for welfare health programs than most other states. As you read the figures below, keep in mind that Arkansas's median income is $38,134 ($12,006 less than the national average of  $50,740) 2


Arkansas is only one of 9 states that provides state funded prenatal care under the SCHIP program (it was the 7th state to do so). Based on federal government regulation, the state can legally and is providing  prenatal benefits to illegal aliens, based on the idea that these children of illegal aliens will be citizens when they are born. 3


These prenatal benefits are provided to women with an income of 200% of federal poverty level or less,  which equals  $42,4000 (about $4,000 more than median income in Arkansas) for a family of four in 2008.  (The national average for these programs  is $133% of poverty level) 4  These benefits inlcude (A) Prenatal services (B) Delivery  (C) Postpartum services for 60 days (D) Family planning services, including tubal ligations (E)  Services for conditions that may complicate the pregnancy (in other words any health problem while they are pregnant.) 5


ARKIDS First Medicaid insurance is also one of the health programs to be expanded under the cigarette tax.  The present eligibility requirement allows family up to 200% of federal poverty level to receive benefits, which is  $42,4000 for a family of four. Governor Beebe's plan using the cigarette tax increase  would expand the income level to 250% of poverty level (or $55,125 annual income). $55,125  is approximately $17,000  higher than median annual income in Arkansas)  6    There is a push in Arkansas  to fund ARKIDS  at 300% by Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (founded by Hillary Clinton and  one of the main liberal groups who threatened suit against the implementation of the ban on homosexuals the state adopted as a result of a ballot initiative). 7 This would essentially  be universal health care for children, a major step toward universal health care for the nation. And what would that do to private insurance companies and the economy? 


Arkansas is also one of twenty-seven states that asked for and received waivers to use Medicaid money for family planning (also at 200% federal poverty level - $42,400 for family of 4 ) 8   "Using an 1115 demonstration waiver, Arkansas was one of the first three states to expand Medicaid family planning services beyond the 60-day postpartum period." 9  


ARKIDS and prenatal care are both aspects of SCHIP. SCHIP was designed for families earning too much to qualify for Medicaid. Created in 1997 by  federal law  under the Clintons in Washington,  SCHIP is the largest expansion of public health insurance coverage since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. 10   Arkansas was one of the first states to voluntarily participate in these programs that are often referred to as socialist programs. They were just another way of getting Bill and Hillary's universal health care program through piecemeal after they couldn't get it past at the federal level. 11


The prenatal care plan was implemented by change in an administrative regulation in July 2004 by the Arkansas Department of Human Service (DHS)  with no input from the legislature, the representatives of the citizens of Arkansas. 12  This procedure creates welfare health  programs and grows government needs without representation of the people.  Now the Governor needs a tax to sustain and expand their programs, and private enterprise is left out of the picture.   


"Using an 1115 demonstration waiver, Arkansas was also one of the first states to expand Medicaid family planning services beyond the 60-day postpartum period." 13  Arkansas Medicaid provides family planning services to women with income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. ($42,400 for a family of four in 2008.) 14  


Yet Arkansas has a lower median income than every state but Mississippi. 15 In other words the percent of money Arkansans are putting into welfare type programs is much higher than other states. (2006 figures) 15.


ARKIDS and Family Applications are provided in Spanish. 16


Considering the money already being poured into health programs in Arkansas, is the expansion of these programs really needed, especially in the time of economic crisis? Is this really the best use of the money even if a cigarette tax was a good thing to do.




3.  and



6.  and  ( Look for Arkansas figures and ARKIDS first is the state's version of SCHIP.) 

7. and organization founded by Hillary Clinton

8. and




12. The SCHIP State Plan Amendment Rule authorized Medicaid benefits for pre-natal care for many pregnant illegal aliens who are unlawfully present in Arkansas.  It was adopted by change in an administrative regulation or rule in July 2004 by the Arkansas Department of Human Services (“DHS”).