In Special Session, Ark. Lawmakers Weigh Modifications To Medicaid Expansion
The governor has called the legislature into session today to consider his plan to revamp the program Arkansas set up under the federal health law to expand health coverage for low-income residents. Also, in New Hampshire, the governor has signed legislation extending the Medicaid expansion program.
Medicaid Plan Up Today, Less Managed Care
A special legislative session that starts today will consider Gov. Asa Hutchinson's proposal that would continue the state's expanded Medicaid program that provides health coverage to about 267,000 low-income Arkansans, while making changes the governor says would encourage recipients to stay employed and take responsibility for their health care. The formal call for the session that Hutchinson issued Tuesday did not include his proposal to hire private companies to manage and provide benefits to some Medicaid recipients as a way to save state tax dollars. (Davis, 4/6)
The Associated Press:
Hutchinson Says Managed Care Won't Be On Session Agenda
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he won't put his proposal to have private firms manage some Medicaid services before lawmakers as they convene for a special session this week. ... Lawmakers opposed to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's managed care legislation are leaving open the possibility they'll try with a competing proposal during this week's special session. The group of lawmakers on Tuesday released their proposal to have the state hire private firms to coordinate services for the developmentally disabled and mentally ill. Unlike Hutchinson's proposal, under the competing plan Arkansas would continue paying Medicaid providers directly. Hutchinson earlier Tuesday said he wouldn't include his managed care proposal on the session agenda at the urging of legislative leaders. (4/5)
New Hampshire Union Leader:
Gov. Hassan Signs Medicaid Expansion Extension Bill
About 50,000 low-income adults will be able to continue their health care coverage for two more years after Gov. Maggie Hassan signed House Bill 1696 into law Tuesday. ... The bill extends the New Hampshire Health Protection Program for two more years until Dec. 31, 2018 while adding a work requirement — something federal regulators have never approved — and having hospitals and insurance companies pay the state’s share of the cost, about $40 million. (Rayno, 4/5)
New Hampshire Public Radio:
Hassan Signs N.H.'s Expanded Medicaid Program Into Law Until 2018
Hassan said continuing this program is a positive step for New Hampshire. “It’s clear that expansion is strengthening the health and financial security of our citizens and we know that reauthorization is also critical to our businesses, our economy and the ongoing battle with substance abuse,” Hassan said. Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley touted the fact that the measure relies on no tax dollars but most importantly the program will continue to expand access to treatment for those battling addiction. (Sutherland, 4/5)
Will Hospitals Voluntarily Pay $40M To Keep Expanded Medicaid Going?
New Hampshire’s newly approved Medicaid expansion is riding on a hope that hospitals and insurance carriers will voluntarily help foot the bill, or else it’s doomed. Legislation Gov. Maggie Hassan signed into law Tuesday, which reauthorizes the expansion for two more years, relies on those organizations to voluntarily donate an estimated $40 million to the state to help fund the program’s operation. ... The voluntary donations from health care organizations were the linchpin of Republican support, because it means the state doesn’t have to use taxpayer money to cover the program. The federal government pays 100 percent of Medicaid expansion costs. But aid from Washington will start to decline in 2017, and the state is on the hook for an estimated $50.8 million over the next two years. (Morris, 4/5)