KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Study Finds Colorado’s Medicaid Expansion Provided ‘Significant Positive Effect’ On Economy

The report by the Colorado Health Foundation asserts that the expansion added $3.8 billion in economic activity. Also, news on Medicaid expansion from Indiana and Alabama.

Denver Post: Colorado Study Says Medicaid Expansion Is A Boon To State Economy
A new Colorado Health Foundation report says state expansion of the Medicaid program has created 31,074 new jobs and added $3.8 billion in economic activity. The report concludes that "in the two years since implementation, expansion in the state has had a significant positive effect on the economy at no expense to the general fund" in the state budget. ... Kevin Lundberg, the Republican who chairs the state Senate Health and Human Services Committee, laughed at the notion that Medicaid expansion is not costing the state anything. He said, "What we've been doing is pulling down federal debt dollars" to bring more money into the state. But, he said, the $9.9 billion being spent on Medicaid "has an immediate, direct impact on the state budget as well." (Olinger, 3/11)

Colorado Public Radio: Study Asserts 'Positive' Impact From Colorado Medicaid Expansion
Colorado was one of 32 states that expanded Medicaid when Obamacare launched in 2014. That expansion has had a “significant positive” impact on Colorado’s economy, according to a report commissioned by the Colorado Health Foundation. The report found that Colorado added more than 30,000 jobs and raised annual household earnings by $643. And the increased economic activity due to Medicaid added $3.8 billion to Colorado’s economy. (Daley, 3/10)

Indianapolis Star: Indiana Lawmakers OK Bill To Protect Healthy Indiana Plan
State lawmakers approved Thursday a bill preventing Indiana’s alternative Medicaid program from being changed without the legislature’s approval. The bill also says the state’s share of the costs must be restricted, a provision the bill’s author said could potentially limit enrollment, which is in direct opposition to federal Medicaid eligibility rules. Supporters say the bill, which Gov. Mike Pence is expected to sign into law, will strengthen Indiana’s hand in negotiating with the federal government once the state’s temporary permission for the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP 2.0) expires in 2018. (Groppe, 3/10)

Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser: Medicaid Funding Could Require Special Session
Gov. Robert Bentley and legislators Thursday began raising the possibility of a special session to address the state’s Medicaid program, amid signs the Legislature would approve a General Fund that gives the agency less than a fifth of the funding increase it says it needs. Senate leaders signaled they could approve a $1.8 billion General Fund budget, expected to go before the House of Representatives next week, that increases the state’s Medicaid program by $15 million over the previous year. The agency said it needs a $100 million increase to maintain services and continue the implementation of regional care organizations (RCOs), shifting Medicaid to a managed care model. (Lyman, 3/10)

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