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Arkansas governor suspends Medicaid terminations for 2 week as state faces backlog

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Gov. Asa Hutchinson says Arkansas is suspending a push to terminate coverage for thousands on Medicaid as the state addresses a backlog of responses from recipients trying to verify their incomes.

The Republican governor on Tuesday said the state won't send any more termination notices over the next two weeks. Notices have already gone out to thousands who haven't responded to efforts to verify their incomes. The state has already terminated coverage for more than 35,000 people, most of who were on Arkansas' compromise Medicaid expansion.

Hutchinson said the suspension will allow the Department of Human Services to catch up on a backlog of responses from Medicaid recipients. He said he's also lifting a hiring freeze so DHS can hire 35 more workers.

PHOTO: Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson points out details on a Medicaid form at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson points out details on a Medicaid form at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

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PHOTO: Arkansas Department of Humans Services Director John Selig, right, listens as Gov. Asa Hutchinson answers reporters questions at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
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