KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Report Estimates Employer Costs From States’ Refusal To Expand Medicaid

According to Bloomberg, the report by Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. estimates the cost to employers to be $1 billion. Meanwhile, other news outlets report on state-level decisions and developments related to the expansion.

Bloomberg: Refusal To Expand Medicaid May Cost Employers $1 Billion
Governors who refuse to expand their Medicaid programs for the poor may cost employers in their states as much as $1.3 billion in federal fines, a study found. A clause in the 2010 health-care overhaul penalizes some employers when their workers aren’t able to obtain affordable medical coverage through the company. Employers can avoid those fees if their workers qualify for Medicaid as part of an expansion that as many as 22 states have rejected, according to a report today by Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc (Wayne, 3/13).

The Washington Post's WonkBlog: 'We're In An Analytical Mode': Ohio Weighs The Obamacare Medicaid Expansion
You probably haven’t heard of Ron Amstutz. He was raised on a dairy farm in Ohio and now lives in the city of Wooster (Population: 26,139). He is on the board of the Orrville Area Boys' and Girls' Club and a member of the Wooster Rotary Club. Turns out, though, that Ron Amstutz has one of the most important roles right now in implementing the Affordable Care Act: He leads a small committee that will get the first say on whether Ohio expands Medicaid to 684,000 residents (Kliff, 3/13).

The Associated Press: Mo. Senate, House Panels Defeat Medicaid Expansion
Missouri's Republican-led Legislature dealt a triple defeat Wednesday to a Medicaid expansion plan as Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon continued to travel the state trying to rally support for an enlarged health-care program for lower-income adults. In successive party-line votes, the Senate Appropriations Committee defeated legislation authorizing a Medicaid expansion after listening to more than two dozen witnesses in favor of it. Then the House Budget Committee defeated two amendments that would have added the Medicaid expansion to the next state budget (Lieb, 3/13).

The Associated Press: GOP Lawmaker Touts Medicaid Expansion In Idaho
A House Republican will introduce a measure March 14 seeking to expand Idaho's Medicaid program, a key provision in President Barack Obama's health insurance overhaul. Rep. Tom Loertscher of Bone said March 12 he’ll introduce two bills: One dissolving Idaho's existing program to pay indigent people's medical costs, and a second to expand Medicaid to include people up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line (3/13).

Arizona Republic: Arizona Medicaid-Expansion Bill Assigned To Panel Led By Foe
A day after Gov. Jan Brewer released draft legislation on her proposal to expand Medicaid, political jockeying began in earnest in the House with an “informational” hearing on the issue scheduled for a committee chaired by an opponent of the plan. House Speaker Andy Tobin’s decision to have the House Appropriations Committee begin considering the governor’s plan next week removes it from the far friendlier confines of the House Health Committee, whose chairman, Rep. Heather Carter, R-Cave Creek, supports Brewer’s call for Medicaid expansion. Carter spoke at a pro-expansion Capitol rally Tuesday when the governor released a draft of the bill to expand the state-federal health-insurance program for the poor and disabled under the federal health-care overhaul, and Brewer’s office had said Carter would hold a hearing on the issue (Reinhard, 3/13).

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