KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Insurers See Opportunities In Medicaid Expansion While States Mull Pros And Cons

Business analysts view the expansion as "several hundreds of billions of dollars" worth of opportunity for Medicaid health plans. Meanwhile, news organizations track the continuing debate in Kentucky, Florida, New Hampshire and Texas about whether to participate in the expansion.

Kaiser Health News: Health Insurers See Big Opportunities In Health Law's Medicaid Expansion
For industry titans such as UnitedHealthcare and WellPoint, as well as smaller, Medicaid-focused plans such as Molina, the Medicaid expansion is expected to bring significant enrollment and revenue growth. "This is several hundreds of billions of dollars of new market opportunity for these plans over the next couple of years," says Jason Gurda, managing director of healthcare with investment bank Leerink Swann in New York (Galewitz, 3/8).

The Associated Press: Bullock Takes Medicaid Expansion To Constituents
[Montana] Gov. Steve Bullock is ramping up the pressure on lawmakers by taking his Medicaid expansion request, one of the legislative session's bigger issues, straight to his constituents. Bullock has been touring the state selling his proposal, and he pitched it Thursday to the Helena Chamber of Commerce (3/7).

The Associated Press: Price Tag Of Health Overhaul Adjusted Downward
Florida economists on Thursday came out with a new price tag for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul that is dramatically lower than the one cited earlier this year by Gov. Rick Scott. Economists are now projecting that it would cost Florida taxpayers about $5.2 billion over the next decade to pay for the changes (Fineout, 3/7).

The Associated Press: NH Lawmakers Host Hearing On Medicaid Expansion
Low-paid health care workers who provide critical services deserve access to quality care themselves, supporters of expanding New Hampshire's Medicaid program told House lawmakers Thursday. The state is deciding whether to expand Medicaid under the federal health overhaul law to include more poor adults in addition to the children, pregnant women and other groups who are currently covered. If it opts for expansion, the federal government would pick up the entire cost for the first three years and 90 percent after that, though some opponents question whether that promise would be kept (Ramer, 3/7).

The Texas Tribune: Lawmakers Seeking 'Texas Solution' To Medicaid Reform
Momentum is building in the Capitol to find a "Texas solution" for reforming — and possibly expanding — Medicaid, the joint state-federal health program for children, the disabled and the very poor. The influential House Appropriations Committee plans to discuss options for Medicaid reform on Friday (Aaronson, 3/8).

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