Posted by Anna Strong on February 6th 2014
In our fifth installment of our #KeepARCoverage series, we are introduced to Hope Smith, who lives and works in Jonesboro. Hope is passionate about the violin and she's sharing that passion by teaching would-be violinists in her community. Because of pre-existing conditions, Hope was denied coverage in the past or only offered expensive policies that didn't cover her health needs. Now she has health coverage as a result of the Private Option, a bi-partisan effort to provide health coverage to low-income Arkansans adopted during the last legislative session.
The fiscal session starts on Monday and lawmakers in Arkansas have a big decision on their hands: whether or not to approve funding for the Private Option. If they decide not to, Hope's coverage, and the "peace of mind" that comes with it, will go away. The same would be true for nearly 90,000 other Arkansans who already have coverage through the Private Option. Hope believes lawmakers should vote to approve the funding, sticking by the vote made during the last session.
"The private option is going to be a boost for the entrepreneur like me who's just starting out as a small business owner, as one who is self-employed," she says. "What that means is I can keep my doctor, I can keep my hospital, I can keep taking my medication, improving my health, and building my small business. And it's going to give me and my husband some peace of mind."
We think our lawmakers should keep Arkansas covered. Don't you? Share this video and tell Arkansas lawmakers to #KeepARCoverage. If you have a story about how the Private Option is helping you or your family, please share it with us here.