KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Montana Medicaid Ballot Initiative Falls Short

Supporters announced that they didn't have enough signatures by the filing deadline. Meanwhile, in other state news on Medicaid expansion, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is facing a deadline on how to respond to the General Assembly's budget, which did not include his request.

Helena (Mont.) Independent Record: Medicaid Expansion Initiative Fails To Make November Ballot
An initiative to expand Medicaid coverage to 70,000 low-income Montanans won’t be on the November ballot this year, as supporters Thursday said don’t have enough signatures to qualify Initiative 170 for the ballot. With today’s deadline looming for turning in the signatures, Kim Abbott, president of Healthy Montana Initiative, the organization behind I-170, said the group is several thousand signatures short (Dennison, 6/19).

The Richmond Times-Dispatch: Deeds Urges McAuliffe To Veto Medicaid Amendment
State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, is urging Gov. Terry McAuliffe to use his line-item veto to strip from the budget an amendment that seeks to tie his hands on Medicaid expansion. Lawmakers approved a two-year budget late Thursday night, breaking a three-month logjam. Republican senators included an amendment that bars Medicaid expansion or a private alternative without approval of both houses of the General Assembly. In an email newsletter to constituents Tuesday, Deeds called the line-item veto "the best option" for the governor (Cain, 6/19).

The Washington Post: Va. Officials Skeptical Of U.S. Interest In Phillip Puckett's Resignation From State Senate
Federal investigators this week interviewed officials and sought documents in connection with [Sen. Phillip] Puckett’s exit, which handed Republicans control of the Virginia Senate at a critical time and was connected to job prospects for Puckett and his daughter. The resignation enraged Democrats, who accused Republicans of bribing Puckett to leave the Senate as a way to break a deadlock over the state budget and Medicaid expansion. Puckett said there was no quid pro quo but withdrew his name from consideration for a top job with the state tobacco commission (Vozzella, Zapotosky and Portnoy, 6/19). 

North Carolina Health News: NC House And Senate Still At Odds Over Medicaid Reform, Funding
Members of the North Carolina House and Senate are a few steps closer to finding a way forward on Medicaid after a key committee meeting late Thursday afternoon. In a meeting of the House Health and Human Services Committee, co-chair Rep. Nelson Dollar (R-Cary) presented an update to an earlier Medicaid reform plan that moves the federal- and state-funded program closer to the managed care model favored by Senate leaders (Hoban, 6/20).

The Associated Press: 300,000 In Michigan Enroll For Medicaid Expansion
More than 300,000 Michigan residents have enrolled in the state’s expanded Medicaid program since it launched 11 weeks ago. The Healthy Michigan Plan began enrollment April 1. Medicaid expansion is anticipated to cover 320,000 low-income adults in the first year, though it could be much more given the rapid race of enrollment so far (6/19).

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