KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

New Report: Medicaid ‘Gap’ Hurts Minorities Most; Va.’s Outgoing Governor Ponders Expansion Review

And, The Washington Post profiles Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican whose state is expanding Medicaid and has its own insurance exchange.

CBS News: Report: Medicaid "Coverage Gap" Mostly Hits Minorities
Next year, the nation will be split: 25 states and the District of Columbia will expand Medicaid coverage, while 25 states won't. In those states without expanded coverage, nearly five million people will be ineligible for Medicaid as it exists currently but will be too poor to qualify for subsidies on the new Obamacare marketplaces. That so-called Medicaid coverage gap will mostly impact minorities, according to a new report -- particularly uninsured African-Americans living in the South -- and will likely widen the already-existing racial, ethnic and geographic disparities in health coverage (Condon, 12/16).

The Washington Post's Wonk Blog: Twenty-Three States Aren't Expanding Medicaid. Here's Who They Leave Behind.
Three-quarters of those who will fall into this coverage gap are adults who do not have children. ... Most of them have jobs. Of the 4.8 million people estimated to be in the coverage gap, 2.6 million are working either full- or part-time. Among those working, half are in the agriculture industry. Most work for businesses with fewer than 100 employees, which tend to be less likely to offer insurance coverage (Kliff, 12/17). 

McClatchy: Minorities Disproportionately Represented In Health Care ‘Coverage Gap’
New data from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that minorities will make up 53 percent of the estimated 4.8 million low-income Americans who will fall into the "coverage gap," leaving them without viable options to obtain health insurance next year. In the 25 states that won't expand eligibility for the Medicaid program, many adults earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to qualify for tax credits that would help them purchase marketplace insurance. That puts them into the bureaucratic no-man's land known as the "coverage gap” (Pugh, 12/17).

The Washington Post: In Nevada, The Republican Governor Who Doesn’t Completely Hate Obamacare
Only eight states run by Republican governors moved to expand Medicaid to cover residents making less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Only three states with Republican governors set up state-based health-care exchanges. Only three states with Republican governors set up state-based health-care exchanges. Just two states led by Republicans — Nevada and New Mexico — did both.... For Gov. Brian Sandoval (R), heading into an election year with sky-high approval ratings (Wilson, 12/16).

The Richmond Times-Dispatch: McDonnell Wants Review Of Any Medicaid Expansion
Even if Virginia decides to expand its Medicaid program, Gov. Bob McDonnell wants a second look in two years before the state would start paying part of the bill. McDonnell proposed Monday to put a sunset clause on any expansion of the program by the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission, created this year to oversee reforms that lawmakers insist be accomplished before — or, some say, at the same time as — expanding the program under the federal Affordable Care Act. ... Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe built his successful gubernatorial campaign around support for Medicaid expansion, but his staff is reserving judgment on McDonnell’s approach to the idea in the budget (Martz, 12/17).

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