KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Advocates Rally In Richmond To Press Lawmakers To Expand Medicaid

After the failure of the Republican replacement health bill in Congress, Democrats in Virginia are seeking to get a reluctant legislature to agree to expand Medicaid. News outlets report on expansion news from Louisiana, Texas and Minnesota.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch: Advocates Push Virginia Legislators Again To Expand Medicaid
Keith Oliver thought his prayers for health insurance had finally been answered when he received a card from Virginia’s Medicaid program. But the first time Oliver tried to use it, the doctor’s office told the 30-year-old part-time residential counselor that the card covered only family planning services under the program. ... Oliver was among four people to tell their stories of seeking vainly for health insurance and avoiding medical treatment without it, as health care advocates mounted a new offensive aimed at persuading the General Assembly to expand the state’s Medicaid program to uninsured adults and low-income families. (Martz, 4/3)

New Orleans Advocate: Pelosi, Landrieu Hear From Patients Helped By Obamacare And Medicaid Expansion
On Saturday morning, [House Minority Leader Nancy] Pelosi and Mayor Mitch Landrieu had a closed-door meeting with a group of Louisiana patients. Although there were complaints about budget-breaking premiums and unaffordable prescription drugs, there also were tales of lifesaving, life-changing access to health care under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, that Republicans want to repeal, Pelosi said. “Their stories are our purpose,” she said. Although Louisiana has long had one of the highest uninsured rates of any state, its struggle is mirrored across the nation, Landrieu said. “America will never be great if America isn’t healthy,” he said, taking a dig at President Donald Trump's vow to "make America great again." (Reckdahl, 4/2)

Politico Pro: Medicaid Gets Short Shrift As Texas Hammers Out Its Budget
Texas lawmakers faced with a $1.2 billion Medicaid shortfall for fiscal 2017 are weighing whether to ask the Trump administration for a waiver from federal program rules. The latest version of House’s budget, passed unanimously out of the appropriations committee last week and due to be taken up by the full body Thursday, instructed the agency responsible for administering Medicaid to “pursue flexibility from the federal government” to find $1 billion in savings. (Rayasam, 4/3)

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