KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Report: Fewer Than 2 Million Medicaid Enrollees Are Result Of Health Law

The study by consulting firm Avalere Health concludes that less than a third of the 6.3 million who have signed up for Medicaid have done so because of the health law's expansion of eligibility. Developments in Virginia and Florida are also covered.

The Washington Post: Fewer Than 2 Million Signed Up For Medicaid Under The Health Law, Report Says
Between 1 million and 2 million Americans signed up for Medicaid last year because of the health-care law, according to a new report suggesting that many of the people who have joined the program since the initiative’s rollout in October would have done so absent the law. The Obama administration has said that 6.3 million people were determined to be eligible for Medicaid between October and December. But the study, from health-care industry consulting firm Avalere Health, suggests that only a fraction of the enrollments are strictly the result of the health-care law (Somashekhar and Sun, 2/5). 

CNN: Study Puts New Medicaid Enrollment Under Obamacare At Fewer Than 2 Million
Just a fraction of the more than 6 million people the Obama administration has touted as being determined eligible for Medicaid under Obamacare are new enrollees, according to an independent study released Wednesday. The new study, published by the health advisory company Avalere, estimates that between 1.1 and 1.8 million people are newly enrolled in Medicaid thanks to the Affordable Care Act over the final three months of 2013. While federal officials have frequently cited increased Medicaid enrollment as an example of Obamacare's success, they have been unable to report how many of those enrollees would have been eligible for the government program without the law's expanded eligibility requirements (Aigner-Treworgy, 2/5).

The Washington Post: McAuliffe Pushes For Medicaid Expansion
Gov. Terry McAuliffe used the occasion of his first bill-signing Wednesday to make a far-reaching pitch for Medicaid expansion as an economic development tool. Saying he's flexible about the details, hungry to find bipartisan compromise and "willing to work with anybody, around the clock, 24 hours a day, seven days a week," McAuliffe (D) said that the commonwealth should seize the chance to insure hundreds of thousands of low-income Virginians under the new health-care law — for their sake, and the sake of the economy (Laris, 2/5). 

The Washington Post: Virginia Hospitals Are Lobbying For An Expansion Of Medicaid
Loudoun County area hospitals have joined a statewide lobbying effort launched by the hospital industry to urge the Virginia General Assembly to expand Medicaid eligibility in Virginia. The hospitals face an uphill battle trying to persuade local lawmakers, nearly all of whom are Republicans. GOP members in the General Assembly have generally resisted the expansion of Medicaid eligibility in Virginia, citing problems with the program and potential long-term costs to Virginia taxpayers (Barnes, 2/5).

Health News Florida: FMA To Tackle Medicaid Expansion
The Florida Medical Association, one of Tallahassee's most influential lobby groups, sat out last year's legislative nail-biter over Medicaid expansion, saving its firepower for pocketbook issues, such as making it harder for patients to sue and keeping non-physicians off their turf. But now an FMA advisory committee that studied the issue is backing Medicaid expansion (Gentry, 2/5).

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