States Officials Wrestle With Medicaid Expansion And Related Issues
Media reports detail the latest on the debate in Mississippi, Michigan, Louisiana, Arizona, California and Iowa.
The Associated Press: Gov. Phil Bryant Gets Off Script In Medicaid Expansion Debate
Sometimes, someone veers from the script. That seemed to be the case last week when [Mississippi] Gov. Phil Bryant said he would try to run Medicaid even if the Legislature failed to pass bills reauthorizing or funding the program (5/12).
The Associated Press: Haveman Doubts Medicaid Time Limit
The Snyder administration's top health official on Friday was both receptive to and critical of Republican lawmakers' alternative plan to make more low-income uninsured adults eligible for Medicaid, expressing confidence that a deal will be reached within a month. [Michigan] State Department of Community Health Director James Haveman told The Associated Press he is a "glass half-full guy" despite having concerns with the legality of a proposed four-year cap on health insurance for nondisabled adults (Eggert, 5/10).
New Orleans Times Picayune: Health Clinics Urge Louisiana Lawmakers To Expand Medicaid Program
On Friday morning, McCree and St. Thomas officials held a news conference to urge Louisiana lawmakers to support bills that would expand health insurance coverage to low-income people through the Affordable Care Act. So far, legislators have rejected a proposal to expand the federal Medicaid program next year, but are still considering legislation that would tap federal Medicaid dollars to buy private insurance coverage (Maggi, 5/10).
Arizona Republic: Arizona House Speaker Tobin Takes On Medicaid Standoff
House Speaker Andy Tobin has emerged as the key player in getting Gov. Jan Brewer’s Medicaid expansion plan through the Legislature, and momentum may be shifting in the nearly dormant Capitol as he appears ready to negotiate. Tobin, R-Paulden, who opposes the Brewer plan as drafted, said he is working on an alternative that could include putting a time limit on the broadened eligibility and the hospital tax that helps fund it, stronger legislative oversight of the state’s Medicaid program and audits of hospital finances (Reinhart, 5/10).
Los Angeles Times: Healthcare Puts Jerry Brown, Capitol Democrats On Different Sides
With California's deficit wiped out and its economy starting to hum, this was to be a year when Gov. Jerry Brown was free of the budget logjams that have paralyzed the Capitol. But instead, the governor has a fight on his hands — with his fellow Democrats. He is on a collision course with them over how to reshape the state's sprawling, complicated healthcare system to conform with President Obama's national overhaul (York and Megerian, 5/10).
The Associated Press: Iowans Worry As Health Care Debate Continues
As negotiations drag out in the state Capitol over how to best provide health coverage for low-income residents, some Iowans are starting to worry about what the debate means for their doctor visits. Kyrie Borsay is one of about 66,000 residents enrolled in IowaCare, a limited benefit program funded by the state and federal governments and offered to people with low wages who don't qualify for Medicaid. She's heard conflicting information about what will happen to the program later this year (5/12).