KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Incoming La. Governor Sets Aggressive Medicaid Expansion Deadline

Democrat John Bel Edwards says he will issue an executive order within 24 hours of being sworn into office so that people can have access by July 1.

The Associated Press: Edwards Sets July 1 Date For Planned Medicaid Expansion
Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards has set an ambitious timeline for a Medicaid expansion, saying he wants to have government-funded health insurance cards in thousands more people's hands by July 1. To make that happen, his new health care leader said Louisiana will have to hire nearly 250 new health department workers to handle the enrollment and find the dollars to pay them, in a state saddled with deep budget problems. (Deslatte, 1/6)

Meanwhile, in other news about Medicaid -

Kaiser Health News: Turning To Medicaid To Insure Lowest-Paid Employees
Companies must offer affordable coverage to all employees and will be subject to a penalty if their workers instead turn to the health exchange to buy subsidized coverage. There's no penalty for companies, it turns out, if workers qualify for Medicaid — though there could be controversy. ... Wal-Mart, McDonald's and some other large companies have drawn fire for not providing employees with health insurance, instead relying on taxpayers to fund workers' health needs via Medicaid. (Mogul, 1/7)

Kaiser Health News: Medicaid To Fund More Addiction Treatment
For decades, if someone on Medicaid wanted to get treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, they almost always had to rely solely on money from state and local sources. Now, in a dramatic shift, the federal government is considering chipping in, too. The agency that governs Medicaid is proposing to cover 15 days of inpatient rehab per month for anyone enrolled in a Medicaid managed care plan. (Allen, 1/7)

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