KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

North Carolina Gov. Leaves ‘Door Open’ To Medicaid Expansion

The Republican governor said he wants to fix the current system first but would consider expansion if federal officials allowed the state to craft its own plan. Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that sign-ups for coverage in North Carolina beat those in nearly every other red state. Other media outlets track developments in Virginia and South Dakota.

The Washington Post: N.C. Gov. McCrory: ‘Door Open’ To Medicaid Expansion
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) said Monday he would leave the door open to expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act if federal officials allow his state to craft a plan that fits its own individual needs. In an interview on WFAE, Charlotte’s NPR affiliate, McCrory defended North Carolina’s refusal to expand existing Medicaid programs until fixes are made (Wilson, 7/14).

The Associated Press: McCrory Willing To Review Medicaid Expansion Later
Gov. Pat McCrory says he'd be willing to consider expanding Medicaid in North Carolina through the federal health care overhaul law once the state's system is repaired after years of cost overruns. McCrory told WFAE-FM in Charlotte on Monday he's "not closed the door" on offering Medicaid to more of the working poor, as the federal law gives the option to states. The governor signed a law last year preventing the expansion. Now he wants the legislature this year to give his administration the ability to develop a new way to pay for Medicaid services. McCrory says he would need federal regulators to give the state flexibility to target any Medicaid expansion based on North Carolina's needs and provide more certainty about what Medicaid expansion will cost the state (7/14).

Politico: In North Carolina, An Obamacare Disconnect
North Carolinians came out in droves for Obamacare enrollment, signing up at a rate that beat nearly every other red state. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to come out for the law — or the Democratic senator who supported it — at the voting booth in November. More than any other state, North Carolina may represent the huge disconnect between Obamacare’s success in getting people health insurance and its failure to help the Democratic politicians who voted for the law (Haberkorn, 7/15).

The Associated Press: Groups Spend Heavily Lobbying On Medicaid 
The trade group representing Virginia hospitals and the conservative advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity, spent heavily on lobbying during their fight over whether to expand Medicaid eligibility, newly filed reports show. The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, the leading pro-Medicaid expansion advocate during this year’s legislative session, said it incurred more than $400,000 in lobbying expenses from May 2013 to April 2014 (7/14).

Meanwhile, the Medicaid expansion fight is part of state campaigns in South Dakota -

The Associated Press: Medicaid Expansion Big Issue For Candidate Wismer
Democratic governor candidate Susan Wismer hopes Medicaid expansion will be a winning issue in her battle against Gov. Dennis Daugaard. Wismer is campaigning across the state in favor of covering tens of thousands of low-income South Dakota residents through an expanded Medicaid program, The Argus Leader reported. She says it not only would help the uninsured but also would bolster hospitals by covering medical care they now are absorbing themselves. Wismer predicted South Dakota residents would support Medicaid expansion "when people really understand it as an issue that's important to the survival of their community health care institutions, (and) that it's important to their friends and neighbors that have jobs that do not afford them health care” (7/14).

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