KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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S.D. Governor Moves His Medicaid Expansion Plan Off Agenda For This Legislative Session

Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard says there isn't enough time left for lawmakers to adequately consider his plan, but he hints the issue could come up in a special session or in 2017. In Utah, a House committee approves a bill that would extend Medicaid coverage to the chronically homeless, mentally ill and those recently released from prison.

The Associated Press: Governor Won't Pursue Medicaid Expansion This Session
Gov. Dennis Daugaard said Monday that he won't pursue an expansion of Medicaid in South Dakota during the current legislative session. The governor made the announcement after getting input from federal officials about policy revisions necessary to satisfy his conditions. Daugaard said there are not enough days left in the legislative session for lawmakers to consider his plan and adequately make their decisions. (Lammers, 2/29)

Sioux Falls (S.D.) Argus-Leader: Special Session For Medicaid Expansion?
Gov. Dennis Daugaard on Monday said he won't ask lawmakers to take up Medicaid expansion in the final two weeks of the legislative session. But the conversation isn't over. ... The Republican governor reiterated that he won't expand Medicaid to include tens of thousands of additional needy South Dakota residents without the Legislature's and tribes' approval. And he would only move forward if expansion is budget neutral. He said he'd ask the state's budget writing committee to remove the provisions in his proposal that allowed for expansion, but he said the conversation could come up again in 2017 or in special session. (Ferguson, 2/29)

Salt Lake Tribune: House Panel OKs Bill Promoting Health Care For Homeless, Mentally Ill
With backing from advocates for the poor, a House committee approved legislation Monday that would provide health-care coverage to a portion of Utah's chronically homeless, mentally ill and those recently released from prison. "We have an opportunity to improve the lives of 16,000 of our fellow Utahns. These are people who have virtually no income and they're either homeless, interacting with the corrections [and] justice system, or have behavioral health needs," said House Majority Leader Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, the sponsor of the second substitute of HB437. "They need our help," he said. "It's a measured plan, it has cost controls in it, and I think it's the appropriate step at this time." (Gehrke, 2/29)

Deseret News: Committee Approves Bill Extending Medicaid To Utahns In The 'Greatest Need'
A bill backed by Republican House leaders extending Medicaid coverage to Utahns in the "greatest need" because of homelessness, run-ins with the law, substance abuse or mental health issues won committee approval Monday. ... Dunnigan said his proposal to offer assistance to the poorest Utahns currently without coverage under President Barack Obama's health care law is "a measured plan. It has cost controls in it, and I think it's the appropriate step at this time." The plan is the latest attempt by lawmakers to deal with the more than 60,000 Utahns in the coverage gap, earning below the federal poverty level but without federal health care subsidies because Utah has not accepted Medicaid expansion. (Riley Roche, 2/29)

And while much of the excitement over Super Tuesday has centered on the presidential primaries, some legislative races could impact Medicaid expansion.

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.