KHN Morning Briefing

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Nevada Poised To Become First In Nation To Allow All Residents To Buy Into Medicaid

The premiums would most likely be lower for customers because Medicaid reimburses doctors less than most insurance plans and also pays lower prices for prescription drugs. At the same time, Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval speaks out against federal lawmakers' idea to phase out the federal expansion.

NPR: Nevada's Medicaid-For-All Bill Awaits Action From Republican Governor
Nevadans will find out this week whether their state will become the first in the country to allow anyone to buy into Medicaid, the government health care program for the poor and disabled. Earlier this month, Nevada's legislature, where Democrats hold the majority, passed a "Medicaid-for-all" bill, and it's now on Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval's desk awaiting his signature or veto. If he does not act by Friday, it will automatically become law. (Kodjak, 6/13)

The Hill: Nevada's GOP Governor Breaks With Heller On Medicaid Expansion
Nevada's Republican governor, Brian Sandoval, is breaking with Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and calling for ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion to be preserved. Heller, who could be a key vote on the healthcare bill and is up for reelection next year, said last week that he supports a seven-year phase-out of the additional federal funding for Medicaid expansion. (Sullivan, 6/13)

In other news on Medicaid —

Politico Pro: Medicaid Overhaul Faces Tough Test In Trump Country
The Trump administration’s planned overhaul of Medicaid is running into the unforgiving reality of impoverished small towns like this one, which voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump: How do you force poor people to work to receive health care coverage when there aren’t any jobs? (Pradhan, 6/13)

Des Moines Register: Disabled Iowans, Fed Up With Cuts Under Privatized Medicaid, Sue Gov. Reynolds
Iowa’s roiling controversy over its for-profit Medicaid management spilled into federal court Tuesday when six Iowans with disabilities filed a lawsuit against Gov. Kim Reynolds. The lawsuit alleges that the state’s chaotic shift to a privately run Medicaid program is depriving thousands of Iowans with disabilities the legal right to live safely outside of care facilities. The suit holds Reynolds and her human services director responsible for the private management companies' actions. (Leys and Clayworth, 6/13)

The Oregonian: Medicaid Enrollment Another Troubled, Expensive Oregon IT System
A project dubbed by one senior Oregon manager as "the most important information technology effort in the state" has been plagued by escalating costs, a bureaucratic turf battle and technical misfires. The $166.7 million effort to automate Medicaid enrollment instead has led to delays for tens of thousands of Oregonians. The Oregon Health Authority spent three years developing the new system and has spent more than four times the initial contract. The glitches mean the agency was dispensing billions in Medicaid payouts not knowing whether the recipients were sufficiently low-income to qualify. (Manning, 6/13)

Kaiser Health News: AARP: States Lag In Keeping Medicaid Enrollees Out Of Nursing Homes
States are making tepid progress helping millions of elderly and disabled people on Medicaid avoid costly nursing home care by arranging home or community services for them instead, according to an AARP report released Wednesday. “Although most states have experienced modest improvements over time, the pace of change is not keeping up with demographic demands,” said the report, which compared states’ efforts to improve long-term care services over the past several years. AARP’s first two reports on the subject were in 2011 and 2014. (Galewitz, 6/14)

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