KHN Morning Briefing

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Alaska Judge Rejects Suit Challenging Governor’s Implementation Of Medicaid Expansion

Republican legislators who brought the suit have not yet decided whether to appeal. News outlets also report on lawmakers in Idaho suggesting Medicaid expansion could still be on the agenda and efforts in New Hampshire to find funding for that state's expansion.

Alaska Dispatch News: Judge Dismisses Legislature's Lawsuit Against Medicaid Expansion
A Superior Court judge dismissed the Alaska Legislature’s lawsuit to halt Gov. Bill Walker’s Medicaid expansion Tuesday. In his decision and order, Superior Court Judge Frank Pfiffner concluded that the state acted within the bounds of the law when it expanded Medicaid. Legal arguments from both sides had focused on what was required under federal law, because state law says that Alaska must comply with federal requirements. Pfiffner sided with Walker. (Andrews, 3/1)

The Associated Press: Alaska Judge Tosses Lawmaker Challenge To Medicaid Expansion
Superior Court Judge Frank Pfiffner dismissed a challenge to Walker's authority by the Legislative Council, which is comprised of state House and Senate lawmakers. That decision can be appealed. A spokeswoman for the Senate majority said the Republican-led majority is looking over the decision and will evaluate its options. The decision came as Republicans in Alaska were participating in the state's presidential preference poll. (Bohrer, 3/1)

Idaho Statesman: Idaho Legislative Leaders: Medicaid Expansion Still In Talks
A modified expansion of Medicaid in Idaho still might emerge from this legislative session, but likely not without a super-majority of House Republicans signing on, House and Senate leaders told reporters Tuesday. Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, and House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, took questions regarding health care discussions in the Statehouse, this year’s education funding, Senate prospects for a House-approved tax cut and the status of a seemingly stalled effort to extend state civil rights protections to the LGBT community. (Dentzer, 3/1)

New Hampshire Public Radio: House Committee Probes Cost Of Continuing N.H.'s Medicaid Expansion
House lawmakers continue to examine how New Hampshire would pay for Medicaid expansion for another two years. On Tuesday GOP leaders on the finance committee were again looking for a guarantee that if passed, private insurance rates will not increase. The Medicaid expansion proposal relies on federal dollars with the state’s insurance premium tax, with hospitals and insurance companies footing the rest of the bill. (Sutherland, 3/1)

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