KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

In Health Enrollments, Medicaid Outpacing Private Plans; Ohio Gov.’s Stance On Expansion Puts Him At Odds With GOP Strategy

The New York Times examines how Gov. John Kasich, once a Republican leader in Washington, has defied the party orthodoxy on Medicaid. And Politico looks at the large number of Medicaid enrollments.

The New York Times: Ohio Governor Defies G.O.P. With Defense Of Social Safety Net
In his grand Statehouse office beneath a bust of Lincoln, Gov. John R. Kasich let loose on fellow Republicans in Washington. “I’m concerned about the fact there seems to be a war on the poor,” he said .... “The very people who complain ought to ask their grandparents if they worked at the W.P.A.” Ever since Republicans in Congress shut down the federal government in an attempt to remove funding for President Obama's health care law, Republican governors have been trying to distance themselves from Washington ... But few have gone further than Mr. Kasich in critiquing his party’s views on poverty programs (Gabriel, 10/28).

Politico: Medicaid Enrollment Surges Ahead Of ACA Sign-Ups may be limping along to full viability, but Medicaid is flying off the shelves. New Medicaid enrollment is far outpacing new insurance customers under Obamacare so far, a subtle sign that the program could play a greater role in the law's coverage expansion than first anticipated. Some people are signing up for the Medicaid expansion created by the president's health law. Others were already eligible for their state's current Medicaid program, but until this outreach campaign about health coverage, they had never signed up (Haberkorn, 10/29).

On other Medicaid expansion news -

Charlotte Observer: McCrory Rejects Call For Special Session To Expand Medicaid
Gov. Pat McCrory rejected a call to convene a special legislative session to add more low-income residents to the state and federal health insurance program. His comments came in response to a news conference called Monday by expansion supporters who again pushed their reasons for allowing more low-income people to sign up for Medicaid (Bonner, 10/28).

The Associated Press: Activists Want NC Medicaid Expansion Reconsidered
Democratic lawmakers and health advocacy groups asked Gov. Pat McCrory on Monday to reconsider his refusal to expand Medicaid in North Carolina to cover hundreds of thousands of additional low-income individuals through the federal health care overhaul (Robertson, 10/28).

Tennessean: Tennessee Medical Groups Urge Expansion Of Medicaid
The associations representing the state's doctors and nurses are jointly calling for Gov. Bill Haslam and the legislature to expand TennCare, the Medicaid program in Tennessee. Dr. Chris Young, president of the Tennessee Medical Association, and Jill Kinch, immediate past president of the Tennessee Nurses Association make an economic argument for expansion. They are asking state leaders to make pragmatic decisions until future elections determine the final fate of the Affordable Care Act. The repercussions of not expanding Medicaid will affect Tennesseans of all incomes, they said (Wilemon, 10/27). 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Health Care For All In State Urged
The head of the lobbying group representing Pennsylvania hospitals reiterated his call Monday for all Pennsylvanians to have health coverage, and said Gov. Tom Corbett's proposal to provide insurance subsidies for low-income residents is an avenue to that goal (Langley, 10/28).

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