As Advocates Rally For Medicaid Expansion, Texas Lawmakers Propose Putting The Issue In Front Of Voters
Democratic Texas state lawmakers are looking at the successes in other red states of ballot measures that took the Medicaid expansion debate to the people. Recent data from the U.S. Census shows Texas has both the highest number and highest percentage of uninsured residents in the United States. Medicaid news comes out of Florida, Ohio, Maine and Missouri, as well.
Two Dozen Groups Call For Medicaid Expansion In Texas, Which Leads Nation In Uninsured
Health care advocates say over a million Texans would get health insurance if the state expanded Medicaid. On Monday, demonstrators held a rally at the state Capitol with a string of 1,000 paper dolls that stretched from the Capitol’s south steps to Congress Avenue to illustrate how many people would be affected. A million “is a really hard number to imagine … and that’s why we have a string of people to help us do that,” said Laura Guerra-Cardus, deputy director of the Children's Defense Fund in Texas. (Sparber, 3/4)
Should Texans Be Allowed To Vote On Medicaid Expansion?
With the Republican-dominated state Legislature reluctant to expand Medicaid, Democrats have filed legislation that would instead let voters decide the issue. Three other red states — Nebraska, Utah and Idaho — ushered in Medicaid expansion through their voters in November. (Chang, 3/4)
FL Senators Weigh Medicaid Retroactive Eligibility Cuts
A bill that would permanently shorten how long patients can have Medicaid cover past healthcare bills narrowly cleared its first state Senate committee hearing Monday, advancing an estimated $104 million policy that could affect about 11,500 Floridians’ care. SB 192, which passed 6-4 in the Senate Health Policy committee on party lines, would cement a policy that restricts the period patients are eligible for Medicaid coverage to the calendar month before their application. (Koh, 3/4)
Medicaid Backlog Delaying Care For Needy And Payments For Health Providers
More than 88,000 applications from poor Ohioans are awaiting processing by caseworkers to determine if they are eligible for Medicaid. Nearly two-thirds of the applications have been pending 45 days or longer. The backlog actually has improved since one point last year, when nearly 110,000 requests were awaiting review, but lengthy delays continue to cause uncertainty and delayed care for needy families — and financial difficulties for many health-care providers. (Candisky, 3/4)
Bangor Daily News:
Maine To Open Temporary Call Center As Medicaid Expansion Enrollment Nears 9,000
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services will temporarily open a Medicaid assistance call center in western Maine to help streamline enrollment in MaineCare. The move comes as Gov. Janet Mills’ administration moves ahead rapidly with implementation of voter-approved Medicaid eligibility expansion. (Acquisto, 3/4)
St. Louis Post Dispatch:
Change In How Missouri Handles Inmates On Medicaid Could Prevent Their Return To Jail, Advocates Say
A simple change to state law could keep released inmates from returning to jail, overdosing on drugs or experiencing a relapse of mental illness, say advocates for two bills introduced in the Legislature. Unlike most states, Missouri terminates Medicaid health care coverage when someone is incarcerated in jail or prison. In at least 35 other states, including Illinois, Medicaid enrollment is instead suspended and reactivated upon release from a correctional facility. (Bernhard, 3/4)