KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

States Opting-Out Of Medicaid Expansion Likely To See Downside

After several state officials announced their intention to reject the expansion -- and the federal funds that come with it -- news outlets report on possible implications, including costs to county taxpayers, businesses and people who would go without health benefits.

The Associated Press: States Saying No To 'Obamacare' Could See Downside
For Gov. Rick Perry, saying "no" to the federal health care law could also mean turning away up to 1.3 million Texans, nearly half the uninsured people who could be newly eligible for coverage in his state. Gov. Chris Christie not only would be saying "no" to President Barack Obama, but to as many as 245,000 uninsured New Jersey residents as well. The Supreme Court's recent ruling gave governors new flexibility to reject what some Republicans deride as "Obamacare." But there's a downside, too (Alonso-Zaldivar, 7/18).

The New York Times: Texas Counties Fear Residents Will Pay The Price Of Perry's Medicaid Rebuff
Gov. Rick Perry's decision on July 9 to refuse two key provisions of the federal health care law — the expansion of Medicaid and the creation of a state insurance exchange — is already being fiercely debated by lawmakers in Austin. But the real impact of the move will be felt far from the Texas Capitol, in the chambers of the commissioners who oversee the state's counties (Fernandez, 7/17).

Kaiser Health News: Businesses Will Push Perry To Rethink Medicaid Expansion
Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he rejects the 'Obamacare power grab' and will block measures expanding health insurance to millions in his state. The country's second-biggest health insurer is betting he won't succeed (Hancock, 7/18).

Texas Tribune: Capitol Protesters Target Perry's Medicaid Announcement
Chanting "2, 4, 6, 8, we want health care, we can't wait!" Texans from across the state descended on the Capitol on Tuesday to protest Gov. Rick Perry's announcement that Texas wouldn't implement key elements of health care reform. "I think Perry will hear our noise," said Ar’Sheill Sinclair, a spokeswoman for Good Jobs Great Houston, which organized the 30-minute protest along with the Texas Organizing Project (Foxhall, 7/17).

Kaiser Health News: Once Focus Of Health Law, Some In Poverty May Be Left Out
Republican leaders in some states, including Mississippi, are warning that opting into the expansion is too expensive since the states eventually will have to pay10 percent of the cost for the new program participants. Nationally, 17.8 million Americans without insurance earn at or below the federal poverty level, which this year is $11,170 for an individual and $23,050 for a family of four. In Mississippi, 53 percent of the people lacking health coverage fall into this group, a bigger portion than in any other state, according to data from the Urban Institute, a Washington-based think tank" (Gold and Rau, 7/18). 

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