Alabama Governor Says He Is Weighing Medicaid Expansion
Gov. Robert Bentley, a doctor, says his administration is "looking at" expanding the program for low-income residents under the federal health law. Meanwhile, Kentucky awaits details from the governor-elect on how he wants to change the state's health insurance marketplace and Medicaid.
The Associated Press:
Alabama Governor Says He Is 'Looking' At Medicaid Expansion
The conservative Republican governor of Alabama, a Deep South state where "Obamacare" is often reviled, said Thursday that his administration is mulling an expansion of the state's Medicaid program under the federal health care law. Gov. Robert Bentley, a dermatologist turned governor, emphasized that he was in the exploratory stages— and said funding the state's share of costs could be a major stumbling block — but his comments were the strongest to date about the possible acceptance of expansion dollars in the deeply red, high-poverty state. (Chandler, 11/12)
Gov. Bentley On Expanding Medicaid: 'We Are Looking At That. We Have Not Made A Final Decision'
In perhaps his most direct comments to date, Gov. Robert Bentley said Thursday his administration is looking at expanding Medicaid, the health care program that serves one million Alabamians. "We are looking at that (Medicaid expansion). We have not made a final decision on that yet, exactly on how that will work," said Bentley in response to a question from an audience of lawyers he addressed this morning in Montgomery. (Dean, 11/12)
Health Clinics Fear Loss Of Kynect
Just a few years ago, Louisville's Family Health Centers were on the brink of closing clinics and laying off staff. ... Then the Affordable Care Act kicked in. Enrollment in health plans surged through kynect, Kentucky's award-winning health insurance exchange created under the federal law also known as Obamacare. Now Family Health Centers' budget is in the black, with more than 80 percent of patients enrolled in health coverage and able to pay for care. ... health advocates are alarmed that changes proposed by Gov.-elect Matt Bevin threaten to undermine major public health advances under the health law in a state with abysmally poor health rankings. (Yetter, 11/11)
Medicaid And Kynect: Facts As Bevin Eyes Cuts
Could Gov.-elect Matt Bevin end the Medicaid expansion in Kentucky under the Affordable Care Act that has added about 400,000 people to the state's Medicaid plan? Yes. Gov. Steve Beshear authorized the federal Medicaid expansion through an executive order and Bevin, as governor, could terminate it through his own executive order after he becomes governor Dec. 8. But Bevin has said he has no plans to do that and instead will ask the federal government for a waiver that would allow Kentucky to create its own Medicaid plan with more cost-sharing by consumers. (Yetter, 11/12)
And in New Mexico --
The Santa Fe New Mexican:
Report: More Insured Means Less Costs For Indigent Care
For years, the No. 1 issue for hospital executives in New Mexico — whether talking with state lawmakers or county commissioners — was the cost of providing care to patients who showed up at the emergency room without insurance. Unlike other health care providers, hospitals are required under federal law to provide emergency care to patients without regard for their ability to pay. But a new report by the Legislative Finance Committee shows that for the first time, hospitals are spending less money on indigent care because more and more patients have some type of private insurance or government-issued Medicaid coverage. (Krasnow, 11/12)