KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Where GOP’s Plans For Medicaid Meet Reality: ‘Around Here, There Ain’t No Jobs’

Republicans are embracing the idea of work requirements, but many of the places where the rules will go into effect are in deep Trump country. Media outlets report on other Medicaid news out of California, New Mexico, Texas, Kansas and Iowa.

Politico: Medicaid Overhaul Faces Tough Test In Trump Country
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s planned overhaul of Medicaid is running into the unforgiving reality of impoverished small towns like [Salyersville], which voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump. Making adults work as a condition for getting health benefits is popular with the conservatives running many state capitals and Washington, D.C. But here in Magoffin County, where one of the last coal mines shuttered two years ago, there is little work to be had. (Pradhan, 6/18)

Modern Healthcare: California ER Use Jumps Despite Medicaid Expansion
California is the latest state to report that emergency room usage is up despite expanding Medicaid eligibility. Emergency room visits by people on Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program, rose 75% over five years from 800,000 in the first quarter of 2012 to 1.4 million in the last quarter of 2016, according to California's Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. (Dickson, 6/16)

Santa Fe New Mexican: New Mexico Has A Lot To Lose From Medicaid Rollback
While New Mexico is among states that will feel a major economic impact from changes in the federal health care law, New Mexico has no Republican senators involved in private meetings about the bill in Washington, D.C. ... “It’s very strange, taking something that affects one-sixth of the economy, and their doing the changes quickly without public hearings,” said Barbara Webber of Health Action New Mexico, a consumer advocacy organization. Any rollback in Medicaid coverage for low-income New Mexicans, she said, would be devastating for the state. “It would trigger a depression for New Mexico when you talk about the loss of that many jobs,” she said. “And then there is the moral and ethical concern for the many people who would lose their health care.” (Krasnow, 6/18)

Modern Healthcare: Texas Law Provides Medicaid Coverage Of Postpartum Depression Screening
Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law Thursday that would allow new mothers on Medicaid to obtain screening for postpartum depression. The law is part of a larger effort to address the high maternal mortality rate that plagues Texas. Two other bills are also going through the state Legislature that attempt to address the issue. (Castellucci, 6/16)

Kansas City Star: Children's Health Programs Expecting Kansas Medicaid Bump
Thousands of Kansas medical providers will see increased reimbursements for Kansas Medicaid, or KanCare, after Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill Thursday to restore a 4 percent cut imposed in May 2016 amid persistent budget crises. The increase will begin July 1. Gordon Docking, who runs KidsTLC, a residential treatment facility in Olathe for kids with mental health problems, said he’s eager to have it. (Marso, 6/16)

Modern Healthcare: Iowa Accused Of Cutting Medicaid Funds For Disabled Beneficiaries
Iowa's privately run Medicaid program has been accused of cutting benefits that allow disabled beneficiaries to live independently in their communities. Six Iowa Medicaid beneficiaries with serious disabilities sued Gov. Kim Reynolds and the head of the state Human Services Department in a proposed class-action lawsuit in federal court on Monday, alleging the state's contracted managed-care organizations cut their monthly cost allowances for home- and community-based care, even though there has been no change in their care needs. (Teichert, 6/15)

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