KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

The Dust Up Continues As Some GOP Governors Reject The Medicaid Expansion

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, however, says he is considering opting out but would like more answers -- both in terms of policy questions and the political outcome of the election -- before he makes a decision. Meanwhile, Stateline explores how the Medicaid expansion will present a tough fiscal call for many of state executives.

Politico: Southern Governors Secede From Medicaid
House Republicans are lining up to repeal the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday, but GOP governors in the South have a real plan to gut the law. Govs. Rick Perry in Texas and Rick Scott in Florida have both said they won't expand Medicaid to more of the working poor in their states — rejecting a central part of the law designed to cover 15 million more Americans (Allen and Smith, 7/10).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: GOP Governors Doubt Feds Can Deliver Health Care To Uninsured On Schedule
In a letter Tuesday to Obama, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said GOP governors think it's unlikely the federal government will meet deadlines for new health insurance markets in each state by 2014. If that's the case, the governors said Obama should acknowledge it now (7/10).

CQ HealthBeat: Republican Governors Press White House For Answers About Health Care Law
One day before the Republican-controlled House planned to vote to overturn the 2010 health care overhaul, Republican governors slammed the law as an insufficient and unaffordable proposal that probably will not be ready by its Jan. 1, 2014, start date. In a letter to President Obama, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, argued on behalf of his GOP colleagues that the Medicaid provisions in the health care law would put a financial burden on states and that federal health insurance exchanges will probably not be functional by the fall of 2013 (Adams, 7/10).

Politico Pro: RGA Has Lots Of Questions After SCOTUS Ruling
Republican governors are raising questions — lots of them — about how implementation of the federal health care law is going to work now that the Supreme Court has rendered its verdict. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell sent a seven-page letter Tuesday to President Barack Obama asking for "prompt answers" to 30 questions states need resolved before they can decide how to proceed with state health care exchanges and the Medicaid expansion (Norman, 7/10).

The Washington Post: McDonnell Considers Opting Out Of Medicaid Expansion
Gov. Bob McDonnell sent a letter to legislators Tuesday saying that he is considering whether Virginia should opt out of the federal health law's Medicaid expansion, but needs more information (Kumar, 7/10).

Richmond Times-Dispatch: McDonnell Wants More Answers On Health Care Law
McDonnell outlined his concerns in a three-page letter on Tuesday to members of the General Assembly, in which he repeated his objection to calling a special legislative session to carry out parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. "I remain convinced for now that a special session would not be a good use of taxpayer dollars," he told lawmakers (Martz, 7/11).

NPR: Will Medicaid Bring The Uninsured Out Of The Woodwork?
Ever since the Supreme Court decided last month that an expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act should be optional, quite a few Republican governors have been vowing to take a pass. ... Perry and his colleagues say they're rejecting the health law for mostly ideological reasons. That's because when it comes to Medicaid, the states don't appear to be on the hook for very much money (Rovner, 7/11).

Stateline:  For Some States, Medicaid Expansion May Be A Tough Fiscal Call
Skeptics say the Republican governors who have pledged not to take part in the health-care law's Medicaid expansion are just posturing, and that eventually they will succumb to the lure of federal dollars. They note that several GOP governors initially refused stimulus money on political principle, but eventually accepted it because their states were desperate for help…If history is a guide, it might be years before the recalcitrant states agree to participate—if they ever do (Vestal, 7/11).

The Associated Press/Houston Chronicle: LePage, Pingree Clash Over Medicaid Cuts
[Maine] Republican Gov. Paul LePage clashed Tuesday with Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree over Medicaid cuts that the governor sought to balance the state budget and that the congresswoman says run afoul of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Pingree wrote to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius this week asking her to reaffirm federal prohibitions on cuts in Maine's Medicaid program. LePage said Tuesday that she was working against the state's interests (Sharp, 7/10).

Meanwhile -

CQ HealthBeat: AIDS Activists Warn Medicaid Opt-Out Could Harm Treatment In Hard-Hit South
Concerned over announcements by some governors that they won't support the health overhaul's Medicaid expansion, AIDS activists Tuesday said they plan to mobilize on the local level to press legislators to allow low-income adults to be covered by the federal-state health program for the poor (Norman, 7/10).

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