KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

States Report Medicaid Surge As Result Of Health Law Rollout

Several media outlets examine how some states are signing up tens of thousands of new Medicaid enrollees in the first month of the health law's rollout, while enrolling fewer people in private insurance policies. In addition, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett touts his alternative to Medicaid expansion using private insurance.

The Wall Street Journal: States Report Medicaid Surge After Health-Law Rollout
Some states are signing up tens of thousands of new Medicaid enrollees in the initial weeks of the health law's rollout, while placing far fewer in private health insurance—a divergence that suggests Medicaid expansion may be a larger part of the law than expected. In one sense, the Medicaid figures are good news for the Affordable Care Act's advocates, who hoped the law would reduce the number of Americans without health insurance (Schatz and Dooren, 10/27).

Kaiser Health News: Pennsylvania Governor Talks Up Plan To Expand Medicaid His Way
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett may have kept an eye this week on his fellow Republican governor in Ohio, John Kasich, as Kasich bypassed his own Republican legislature to expand the state’s Medicaid program. As part of the Affordable Care Act, states have the option to give coverage to low-income adults, with the federal government picking up most of the tab. Only about half the states so far have planned to do that, starting Jan. 1, and Pennsylvania has, so far, not been among them (Gordon, 10/25).

CBS News: Medicaid Enrollment Spike A Threat To Obamacare Structure?
As the Obamacare website struggles, the administration is emphasizing state-level success. President Obama said Monday, "There's great demand at the state level as well. Because there are a bunch of states running their own marketplaces." But left unsaid in the president's remarks: the newly insured in some of those states are overwhelmingly low-income people signing up for Medicaid at no cost to them. Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, said, "We're seeing a huge spike in terms of Medicaid enrollments” (Crawford, 10/25).

Related, earlier KHN coverage:

Kaiser Health News: In Some States, Most Early Marketplace Enrollees Qualify For Medicaid
Shoppers applying for private health coverage through the marketplace have to pay their first monthly premium before they are fully enrolled. Their first payment must be made by Dec. 15 for coverage to take effect Jan. 1. Most are expected to be eligible for some tax credits, up front, to help pay the monthly premiums.

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