Could Senate Republicans Take Election Hit Over Passage Of Obamacare Repeal That Guts Medicaid Expansion?
Though a presidential veto is all but certain, getting the bill to Barack Obama's desk would be a victory for a group of Republicans. Yet some Democrats see the legislation as an opportunity to attack Republicans in tight 2016 races for voting to drop insurance for thousands of people. Elsewhere, news outlets cover Medicaid and health exchange developments in Montana, Kentucky, Texas and Ohio.
Democrats Take Aim At GOP's Medicaid Repeal
Putting an Obamacare repeal on the president’s desk would mark a major psychological — if not an actual — victory for Republicans. But it also could come with electoral repercussions that Democrats believe could boost their efforts to recapture the Senate in 2016. This week, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is poised to clinch the elusive 51 votes he needs to pass a repeal after devising a bill to appease a small group of conservative Republican senators. But the new version also would gut an expansion of Medicaid that’s put millions of Americans from low-income households on the insurance rolls. (Everett, 12/2)
The Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune:
Blue Cross Says Ready To Handle Medicaid Expansion
A state panel was told Tuesday that the third-party administrator for the state’s new expanded Medicaid program is ready to roll when the program kicks into gear on Jan. 1. And officials were told that 10,500 Montanans have enrolled in the program so far. (Drake, 12/1)
Kaiser Health News:
Kentucky Strategy Will Test Need For State-Run Obamacare Exchanges
Kentucky Gov.-elect Matt Bevin’s plan to dismantle the state’s successful health insurance exchange, Kynect, and shift consumers to the federal one would likely have little impact on consumers, health experts say. "The federal exchange is a perfectly viable alternative," said Jon Kingsdale, a Boston health care consultant who formerly led the state agency that started Massachusetts’ exchange in 2006, the model for the federal health law. Consumers on the federal exchange would still be able to shop and enroll in private plans and apply for federal subsidies to lower their costs. (Galewitz, 12/2)
Texas Premature Birth Rates Are Down. Thank Medicaid.
Last month brought good news: The premature birth rate in Texas has declined significantly, down from more than 13 percent of births a few years ago, to just over 10 percent. Although Texas still has one of the highest premature birth rates in the country, we are making progress. The most amazing part of the story is that this improvement is particularly focused on low-income women. Also welcome are the reasons for the improvement, and the specific people and organizations whose daily work continues to bring the premature birth rate down. Who are they? (Or, I should say, who are we?) More than 50 percent of all births in the Houston area and throughout Texas are covered by, financed through, and managed by Medicaid Managed Care Organizations such as Community Health Choice, Texas Children's Health Plan, and others. (Jada, 12/1)
The Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Summit County Company Owes Medicaid $167,000 For Fraudulent Charges, State Audit Says
A Medicaid transportation provider owes $167,000 in overcharges defrauding the state's Medicare fund, according to the Ohio state auditor. A to B Transportation, which provided ambulette transportation services to Medicaid patients in Summit County, ripped off the state's Medicaid fund 177 times between 2011 and 2013, the auditor says. The company also billed the state for some cancelled trips. (Harper, 12/1)