KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Tensions, Threats Emerge In Ariz. Medicaid Expansion Debate

In addition, the legislative debate continues in Texas while in Florida there's speculation about what's to become of the state's uninsured population now that the legislature didn't take action.

Arizona Republic: Threat, Vetoes Fly As Tensions Rise Over Medicaid Expansion
Gov. Jan Brewer sent five bills to the scrap heap Thursday in a pointed gesture intended to prod lawmakers into a deal on the budget and her plan to expand Medicaid. The five vetoes, follow-through on Brewer’s promise to block legislation until her top priorities move forward, capped a tense day that saw some lawmakers receive threats over their support for the plan to provide health care for more of the state’s poor (Pitzl, 5/23).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Republican Arizona State Representative Says She got Threatening Message Over Medicaid Support
A Republican member of the Arizona House who supports GOP Gov. Jan Brewer's push to expand Medicaid received an obscene and threatening voicemail at her office, a sign that the rancorous debate over embracing a signature component of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul in the state is far from over (5/23).

The Texas Tribune: Amendment On Medicaid Expansion Unlikely To Stick
An amendment that blocks Texas from expanding Medicaid without legislative approval doesn’t seem likely to stick. The House on Thursday knocked down a nonbinding motion to instruct conferees to keep the "anti-Medicaid expansion" amendment when they meet with Senate members to work out the final language of Senate Bill 7 (Aaronson, 5/23).

Health News Florida: Left Out: FL's Poorest Uninsured
At 7 a.m. on a Monday morning, poor people who don't qualify for government health programs such as Medicaid are lined up outside a health department building on a busy street in St. Petersburg…These are some of the people who will not gain health insurance when the federal health law kicks into high gear on Jan. 1. They'll be left out because they are in Florida, one of the states that turned down federal funds to cover adults below the poverty level – people with incomes under about $11,500 (Gentry, 5/23).

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