Ky.’s Medicaid Expansion At Stake In Gov.’s Race, But La. Candidates Are Embracing The Option
Candidates to replace Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear are divided on whether to keep the popular Medicaid expansion that he implemented. In Louisana, where Gov. Bobby Jindal has been one of the country's most steadfast critics of the federal health law and expansion, all four candidates for governor say they would support implementing it.
The Associated Press:
Kentucky Election Puts Medicaid Expansion In Crosshairs
Kentucky, one of the only Southern states to expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, could become the first state to repeal that expansion depending on the outcome of a closely contested governor's race. Kentucky voters have made it clear they don't like Obama or his policies, with the president's disapproval rating consistently at or above 60 percent in public polls. But when outgoing Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear used Obama's signature law to allow more people to qualify for taxpayer-funded health insurance, about 400,000 people signed up for it. (Beam, 10/16)
The Associated Press:
Medicaid Expansion Looks Likely Under La.'s Next Governor
While Gov. Bobby Jindal repeatedly refused to take billions in federal health care money to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program, the men seeking to follow him into office are less reluctant to accept the cash. The four main contenders vying to be Louisiana's next governor on the Oct. 24 ballot all say they'd be willing to extend government-financed health insurance to the working poor, as allowed under President Barack Obama's signature health overhaul. (DeSlatte, 10/17)
Reports examine some of the implications for hospitals in Kansas and Florida, which have not expanded their Medicaid programs.
Kansas City Star:
Closing Of Kansas Hospital Adds To Medicaid Expansion Debate
Century-old Mercy Hospital, which had been losing millions of dollars in recent years, shut its doors for good on Oct. 10, leaving the 9,500 residents of Independence unsure who their doctors will be or where those residents will go in a medical emergency. Mercy was the town’s only hospital. ... Generally small and isolated, rural hospitals struggle to provide the latest services and technology. Few doctors want to make their career in rural medicine. ... But in Kansas, there’s another factor to consider in the life and death of rural hospitals: Medicaid expansion. ... With more people covered, hospitals don’t have to write off as many unpaid bills from uninsured patients. Kansas and Missouri are among the dwindling number of states that have turned down expansion. (Bavley and Helling, 10/17)
The Miami Herald:
Funding Cut Ahead For Jackson Health, Other Hospitals To Care For Uninsured
Miami-Dade's Jackson Health System, Florida’s leading provider of healthcare for the uninsured, will be hit with another round of budget cuts next year after federal healthcare officials late Thursday stood firm on their promise to no longer fund care for people who otherwise would have health insurance if the state were to fully implement the Affordable Care Act. Jackson officials estimate their hospital system could lose $50 million or about 20 percent of its current funding under a program known as Low Income Pool or LIP, which pays hospitals for uninsured Floridians’ healthcare. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, plans to reduce LIP statewide from the current $1 billion to $608 million for the year beginning July 2016. (Chang, 10/17)
News outlets continue to parse a recent report about the effects of a state's decision on Medicaid expansion.
Report: Record Medicaid Growth, Reforms
Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act in 29 states, including California, has driven record enrollment and spending for the program in fiscal year 2015, according to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation. In California, about 12 million people are enrolled in the Medicaid program, called Medi-Cal. (Vesely, 10/16)
The Columbus Post-Dispatch:
Rate Of Ohioans Without Health Insurance Falls To 8.7%
Ohio’s uninsured rate has plunged by half in recent years to 8.7 percent, but it could be even lower. Two-thirds of non-elderly Ohioans without health coverage — about 567,000 residents — are either eligible for Medicaid at no cost or qualify for tax credits to help pay for private coverage through the Affordable Care Act. (Candisky, 10/18)