KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Help Wanted: Iowa Looking For New Medicaid Director, A Position That Faces Intense Scrutiny

The person that takes current director Mikki Stier's position will have a lot to do because of Iowa’s controversial shift to private management of Medicaid. Meanwhile in Oregon, lawmakers hold a hearing on a tax that would close a hole in the state's Medicaid budget.

Des Moines Register: Iowa Medicaid Director Job, Which Is A Controversy Magnet, Comes Open As Stier Is Promoted
The state's Medicaid director, Mikki Stier, has been promoted to deputy director of the Iowa Department of Human Services. Stier will continue to oversee the state’s $4 billion Medicaid program while the department seeks her successor, the agency's spokeswoman said. Whoever takes Stier's old job will face intense scrutiny because of Iowa’s controversial shift to private management of Medicaid, which is the joint state and federal health-care program for poor or disabled people. (Leys, 9/5)

The Oregonian: Medicaid Tax Opponents, Supporters Both Say Ballot Summary Language Unclear 
Oregon lawmakers held the first and only public hearing Tuesday on the exact words they want put before voters deciding whether to overturn much of a $550 million health care tax. Back in June, lawmakers passed the package of hospital and health insurance taxes to close a hole in the state's Medicaid budget. Since then, three Republicans from the Oregon House launched an effort to refer much of the law to voters. They want voters to reject a new 1.5 percent tax on health insurance premiums and an increase in taxes on certain hospitals' revenues. (Borrud, 9/5)

And in other Medicaid news —

Kaiser Health News: To Insure More Poor Children, It Helps If Parents Are On Medicaid
Efforts by Republican lawmakers to scale back Medicaid enrollment could undercut an aspect of the program that has widespread bipartisan appeal — covering more children, research published Tuesday in the journal Health Affairs suggests. The study focuses on the impact of Medicaid’s “welcome-mat” effect — a term used to describe the spillover benefits kids get when Medicaid eligibility is extended to their parents. (Luthra, 9/5)

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