KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

D.C., Minnesota March Forward With Online Insurance Marketplaces

Meanwhile, Medicaid expansion plans continue to be hot topics in Arizona and New Hampshire.

The Washington Post: Obamacare Already Working In D.C., Officials Say
With less than three months until its go-live date, District officials say the city's health insurance exchange is already functioning as planned by one important measure: prices. City insurance regulators announced Friday that they have finishing granting approval to the plans set to be offered on the exchange, known as D.C. Health Link, starting Oct. 1. Four insurers are offering 301 different plans, and three of the four lowered their prices from their initial proposals after learning what their competitors were planning to charge (DeBonis, 7/19).

MPR News: Legislative Panel Reviews MNsure Operations
On Monday, 10 members of the Minnesota House and Senate will receive updates on [the online insurance marketplace] MNsure's progress from its board chair and executive director. They are expected to discuss MNsure's budget; the status of its grants and spending; plans to explain how the public will enroll in coverage; and the progress of the information technology infrastructure development (Stawicki, 7/21).

The New York Times: Republicans In Arizona Are At Odds On Medicaid
For Gov. Jan Brewer, the passage last month of a Medicaid expansion was a major coup. Despite a Republican majority in the Legislature, where she faced significant opposition from Tea Party members, she rallied the entire Democratic delegation to her side and made a progressive issue palatable to just enough conservatives, casting the expansion as the right decision for the state, morally and monetarily. ... Ms. Brewer’s maneuvering ... has sparked ire among the Republican rank and file. In interviews, many of its most loyal members conceded that the party's once cohesive ideology has been tainted by the governor’s stance, and they are arming themselves for payback (Santos, 7/21).

The Associated Press: N.H. Governor To Open Medicaid Expansion Options
Gov. Maggie Hassan says she's open to considering alternatives to enrolling an estimated 58,000 poor adults into the state's existing Medicaid program if a different way to expand the program is better for New Hampshire. In an interview with The Associated Press, Hassan said she's confident a special commission established to study whether expanding Medicaid is right for New Hampshire will address reluctant lawmakers' concerns. She said she wants to hear what model the commission believes is best for the state (Love, 7/21).

Meanwhile, in the news from Oregon -

The Associated Press: Oregon Medical Community Gears Up For Expansion
With 400,000 uninsured Oregonians expected to get health insurance in the coming years, the state and medical community are scrambling to make sure there are doctors, nurses and other health care providers available to treat them. Many of Oregon's rural and minority communities already are short of the recommended doctor-patient ratios — a problem that will only get worse when most Americans are required to have health coverage beginning Jan. 1 (Cooper, 7/21).

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