KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Governors Brace For Impact Of Scheduled Cuts In Home States

The nation's governors met in Washington over the weekend, and among their hottest topics: a White House warning regarding the state-by-state impact of sequestration, which is scheduled to kick in March 1. 

The New York Times: As Governors Meet, White House Outlines Drop In Aid To States
In an effort to put pressure on Congressional Republicans, the White House warned on Sunday that automatic budget cuts scheduled to take effect this week would have a devastating impact on programs for people of all ages in every state (Pear, 2/24).

The Washington Post: White House Releases State-By-State Breakdown Of Sequester's Effects
Republicans questioned whether the sequester would be as harmful as the White House predicted and worked on a proposal that could preserve the cuts while giving the administration more discretion to choose how to implement them. Democrats expressed worry that they might be forced to accept the cuts if the public outcry is not loud enough in coming weeks (Goldfarb and Kane, 2/24).

The Associated Press/Los Angeles Times: Governors From Both Parties Condemn Forced Federal Budget Cuts
At their weekend meetings, governors were focusing on ways to boost job development, expand their state economies, restrict gun violence and implement the new healthcare law approved during President Obama's first term. Some Republican governors have blocked the use of Medicaid to expand health insurance coverage for millions of uninsured; others have joined Democrats in a wholesale expansion as the law allows. The Medicaid expansion aims to cover about half of the 30 million uninsured people expected to eventually gain coverage under the healthcare overhaul. Yet for many governors, the budget fight remains front and center and fuels a pervasive sense of frustration with Washington (2/23).

The New York Times: In Impasse, New York Would Face Steep Cuts
The three states would also face nearly $1 million in curtailments to programs providing vaccinations to children against diseases like mumps, rubella, tetanus, measles, whooping cough, hepatitis B and influenza. If enacted, the cutbacks would mean that 12,670 fewer children would be receiving vaccinations in all three states, according to the White House estimate. … Programs providing meals for older people would also be hit. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut would face about $2.1 million in cuts to such programs, the White House estimated (Hernandez, 2/24).

Oregonian: Mandatory Spending Cuts Could Be Felt In Oregon In Ways Big And Small, White House Warns
With hope fading that a deal will be reached to avert $85 billion in across-the-board federal spending cuts that begin on Friday, here's what the failure could mean in Oregon. Air traffic control facilities in Portland, Klamath Falls, North Bend, Pendleton and Salem "could close," the Federal Aviation Administration says as part of its effort to cope with a $600 million gash in its operating budget. The FAA is considering closing control towers at 100 airports that have fewer than 150,000 flight operations per year. … Approximately 1,670 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $114,000. Oregon will lose about $890,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 3800 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And the Oregon Health Authority will lose about $113,000 resulting in around 2,800 fewer HIV tests (Pope, 2/25).

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