KHN Morning Briefing

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Idaho Governor Rules Out Special Session Or Executive Action For Medicaid Expansion

Gov. Butch Otter says instead he will work with a legislative committee studying the issue. Also, news on expansion issues in New Hampshire and Virginia.

Idaho Statesman: Idaho Gov. Otter Says No Special Session, Executive Action On Health Care For Poor
Gov. Butch Otter Monday ruled out calling a special legislative session or taking action on his own to advance an Idaho-designed, federally-funded health care program for 78,000 poor and uninsured Idahoans. Instead, he said his administration would work with a forthcoming interim legislative committee that will study how Idaho should proceed, likely via a federal waiver that would permit the state to implement an alternate approach to Medicaid expansion to cover the uninsured group. (Dentzer, 3/28)

Twin Falls Times-News: Otter: No Executive Action On Medicaid Expansion
Democrats have called on Otter to either take executive action or to call a special session to work on a coverage plan for the estimated 78,000 Idahoans in the Medicaid gap. On Monday, Otter threw cold water on the second idea, too. “I know of no reason at this moment that I am going to call a special session for the gap population,” he said. (Brown, 3/28)

The Associated Press: NH Senate Panel Approves Medicaid Expansion Reauthorization
A key state Senate committee endorsed the continuation of New Hampshire's Medicaid expansion plan Monday after a debate over how hard the state should fight to include a work requirement for recipients. The program, which insures roughly 48,000 people, will end this year if lawmakers do not pass the reauthorization bill. Now backed by the Senate Finance Committee, the bill will go before the entire Republican-led chamber on Thursday. It has already passed the House, also controlled by Republicans, and will go to Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan's desk if it passes the Senate unchanged later this week. (Ronayne, 3/28)

The Richmond Times-Dispatch: McAuliffe Faults Assembly For Linking Capitol Square Projects To Bonds For Universities
Gov. Terry McAuliffe promised Monday to remove language from a pending $2.1 billion bond bill that would prevent capital projects at colleges and universities from moving forward until he signs construction contracts for replacing the General Assembly Building as part of a pending $300 million overhaul of state buildings on Capitol Square. ... McAuliffe’s remarks escalate a long-simmering confrontation between the governor and Republican leaders over their refusal to expand the state’s Medicaid program for uninsured Virginians under the Affordable Care Act. He has made expansion of insurance coverage a condition for signing the bonds to finance the replacement of the deteriorating General Assembly Building. (Martz, 3/28)

And in Oklahoma, a Senate panel opts against cuts in the current Medicaid program —

The Associated Press: Plan To Cut 111K From Medicaid Derailed In Oklahoma Senate
A plan to remove about 111,000 Oklahoma residents with dependents from Medicaid to free up money for other health care needs has been derailed in the Oklahoma Senate. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted 5-3 on Monday against the bill by Republican Sen. Brian Crain of Tulsa. The bill would have eliminated Medicaid eligibility for any non-pregnant, able-bodied adult younger than 65. Most would be single parents with preschool-age children. (3/28)

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