KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Medicaid Expansion Increasingly In Vogue With Republican Governors

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder are the most recent to express interest, and even support, for the health law's Medicaid expansion.

The Wall Street Journal: Pennsylvania Governor Seeks Expanded Health Coverage For Poor
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said Monday he wants to expand health insurance to hundreds of thousands of low-income state residents under the federal health-care law, as long as he is allowed to use Medicaid funding to pay for private insurance policies for them. … The Department of Health and Human Services in Washington has previously said it is open to such a compromise, which is being mulled by a handful of other states including Arkansas, Ohio and Tennessee (Radnofsky, 9/16).

Politico: Pennsylvania To Take Medicaid Funds, With A Catch
Among the reforms he’s seeking: Enrollees would pay premiums on a sliding scale from $0 to $25 and unemployed Medicaid recipients would be required to submit to job training or job search programs in exchange for premium reductions. Corbett also wants to pare back Medicaid benefits to be more consistent with what’s available in the private insurance market (Cheney and Millman, 9/17).

Reuters: Pennsylvania Proposes Alternative To Expansion Of Medicaid
The plan to use Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance is modeled on similar proposals in Iowa and Arkansas, where Republican officials have also resisted efforts to expand Medicaid eligibility under Obama's Affordable Care Act - better known as Obamacare. Pennsylvania's plan, like those of the other two states, would require approval by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. States like Pennsylvania, Iowa and Arkansas that are refusing to expand Medicaid as envisioned under Obama's healthcare reform will forfeit billions of dollars in federal subsidies to fund the expansion (Kelley, 9/16).

Related, earlier KHN story: The Arkansas Medicaid Model: What You Need To Know About The 'Private Option' (Hancock, 5/1).

The Associated Press: Gov. Snyder Signs Medicaid Expansion Into Law
Gov. Rick Snyder checked off one of the major priorities of his first term on Monday, signing into law a measure that will make hundreds of thousands of state residents eligible for Medicaid. Snyder’s signature at the ceremony at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn makes Michigan the largest state controlled by Republicans to support a key component of the new federal health care law (Hoiuseholder, 9/16).

Detroit Free Press: Gov. Snyder Signs Medicaid Expansion Into Law
It was a long slog, full of politics, drama and delay. But a bill to expand Medicaid to 470,000 additional low-income Michiganders was signed into law Monday by Gov. Rick Snyder…The bill helps to implement a portion of the federal Affordable Care Act, which mandates that all people have health care coverage after Jan. 1 (Gray, 9/16).

The Washington Post’s Wonk Blog: Obamacare Hits A Tipping Point: Most Governors Now Want To Expand Medicaid
Between Pennsylvania and Michigan, you're looking at more than 800,000 people becoming eligible for new health law programs. And if the Pennsylvania expansion does go through, it would be the 26th state to expand Medicaid, meaning that the majority of states had decided to opt into a massive health law provision that the Supreme Court decision last year accepted (Kliff, 9/16).

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