An Arkansas proposal to use Medicaid money to buy private insurance for poor residents was passed by the House, a move that may help efforts for health- care overhaul in states with Republican-led legislatures.

Seventy-seven lawmakers voted for the legislation today, while 23 opposed it, surpassing the 75 votes needed for approval of a bill enabling spending for health care. The same measure had failed to achieve the votes yesterday, prompting House Speaker Davy Carter, a Republican, to seek another vote. “Arkansas now leads the nation with a conservative alternative to the policy forced upon us by the federal government,” Carter said in a statement.

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