After Years Of Political Bickering Over Medicaid Expansion, Choice Will Go Directly To Voters In Four Red States
The measures are being watched closely as a method to expanding Medicaid in states with resistant legislatures. Ballot initiatives “are so powerful because they strip away from the partisanship and the tribalism that dominates so much of our politics,” said Jonathan Schliefer, executive director of The Fairness Project. “When it comes to health care, the biggest gap isn’t between Republicans and Democrats. It’s between politicians and everyone else." Meanwhile, The Washington Post fact checks campaign ads that claim Republicans will get rid of Medicare.
In States That Didn’t Expand Medicaid, Voters Might Do It Anyway
For years, elected leaders in conservative states have resisted expanding Medicaid, the government health program for low-income Americans. Now voters in four of those states will decide the question directly. Ballot initiatives in Idaho, Utah, Nebraska, and Montana will test whether there’s a disconnect between politicians and voters over a program that insures 1 in 5 Americans at an annual cost of more than half a trillion dollars to federal and state governments. Advocates behind the measures in states carried by President Donald Trump in 2016 aim to distance Medicaid expansion from the law that makes it possible: the Affordable Care Act. (Tozzi, 10/22)
November Elections Bring High Stakes For Medicaid
The midterm elections could bring sweeping changes to Medicaid, from possible eligibility expansions to new rules requiring low-income people to work, depending on voters’ choices for governors’ offices and state legislatures across the country. Medicaid covers more people than any other federally funded health program. (Williams, 10/22)
The Washington Post Fact Checker:
Are Republicans Seeking To ‘Get Rid Of Medicare, Medicaid And Social Security’?
Democrats have seized on recent comments by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in a round of media interviews after the Treasury Department reported that the federal budget deficit increased 17 percent year over year, to $779 billion in fiscal 2018. “It’s disappointing, but it’s not a Republican problem,” McConnell told Bloomberg News on Oct. 16 when asked about the deficit announcement. “It’s a bipartisan problem: unwillingness to address the real drivers of the debt by doing anything to adjust those programs to the demographics of America in the future.” He added that by “entitlement reform,” he was “talking about Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.” Cue the immediate outrage from the left. (Glenn Kessler, 10/23)
And news on the election comes out of Iowa, Kansas and California, as well —
Des Moines Register:
Iowa's 3rd District Race Comes Down To Battle Over Trump, Health Care
[U.S. Rep. David] Young is also being hit on health care issues, which are top of mind for Iowa voters. He’s voted to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act, including a 2017 bill that would have replaced it with a program with fewer health protections for people who buy insurance outside of their employer. The measure ultimately failed. The issue is central for [Democratic candidate Cindy] Axne and Democratic groups flooding the district’s television airwaves. Young has countered that he co-sponsored an amendment that he said would have offered safeguards for people with pre-existing conditions. Nonpartisan health care groups said at the time that the overall bill still would have hurt access to quality health insurance for people, including those with pre-existing conditions. (Rodriguez, 10/22)
Kobach Claims He Can Save $2 Billion For Medicaid, But Experts Say The Math Doesn't Add Up
Kris Kobach says his proposal to reform Kansas Medicaid could save the state $2 billion. At campaign events, the Republican nominee for governor touts the benefits of combining Medicaid with direct primary care, an unconventional payment system that avoids the bureaucracy of health insurance. But the people who gave Kobach the idea say they haven’t calculated that direct primary care would save $2 billion for Kansas Medicaid. And Kobach’s campaign hasn’t provided an alternative source for that number. (Ujiyediin, 10/22)
Los Angeles Times:
Gavin Newsom Slashed Welfare Checks To The Homeless, With The Goal Of Housing More People. Did It Work?
When San Francisco’s homelessness problem swelled in the early 2000s, Gavin Newsom endorsed a radical plan for the famously liberal city. Then a San Francisco supervisor on the rise, Newsom proposed slashing the amount of welfare for single homeless adults and instead using the funds on shelters, housing and services. Called Care Not Cash, the program sought to stop welfare recipients from spending their monthly checks on heroin or alcohol. (Smith, 10/23)
Gavin Newsom Is Bullish On Single-Payer — Except When He’s Not
Twenty minutes before the only scheduled 2018 California’s gubernatorial debate, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom rolled into the San Francisco parking garage in a black SUV. Through the tinted windows, a soft overhead light slightly illuminated the front-runner’s chiseled features and slicked-back hair. In a well-tailored blue suit and matching tie, Newsom strode to the elevator and casually leaned his tall frame against the corner, emerging on KQED radio’s third floor to banter with waiting reporters — the picture of a polished and confident front-runner. (Rinker, 10/22)