Medicaid Expansion: Ariz. Foes Look To Voter Referendum, N.H. Fight Brewing
Meanwhile, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown seeks to expand Medi-Cal, and New Hampshire lawmakers set up a fight over the expansion.
Arizona Republic: Medicaid Expansion Foes Shift Strategy
As Arizona House members work behind closed doors to reach consensus on Medicaid expansion, opponents — conceding lawmakers likely will broaden the health-care program for the poor — are shifting their strategy to force its repeal once it passes. Two former state lawmakers and a Pima County Republican official are organizing a petition drive to have voters decide the Medicaid issue, which could postpone its implementation until after the November 2014 general election (Reinhart, 5/29).
The Associated Press: NH Senators Set Stage To Fight Over Medicaid
New Hampshire senators set the stage Tuesday for a fight with the House and governor over a key measure in President Barack Obama's health care law - expanding coverage to the state's poorest uninsured adults next year. The Senate's budget panel recommended establishing a study commission rather than expanding Medicaid to cover about 58,000 of the state's poorest adults under the federal Affordable Care Act (Love, 5/29).
The Associated Press: Okla. Session Over, But Questions Remain
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin gave lawmakers an ‘A’ grade for approving much of her agenda during the recently concluded legislative session, but the question of how the state plans to address the more than 630,000 Oklahomans without health insurance remains unresolved. Fallin, a Republican, rejected the opportunity under the federal health care law to expand Medicaid coverage to nearly 200,000 people without health insurance, saying last November that doing so would prove too costly to the state and the country (Murphy, 5/30).
The Associated Press: Brown: Counties Must Pay For Medicaid Expansion
Gov. Jerry Brown told county officials Wednesday that the state cannot afford to "double-pay" as he seeks to expand California's health care program for the poor, meaning counties will have to forfeit millions of dollars in state funding. ... Brown's budget proposal calls for counties to return about $300 million to cover 2 million to 3 million people in the next fiscal year (Williams, 5/29).
In related news -
The Hill: Medicaid Managed Care Ready For New Enrollees, States Say
Medicaid managed care programs are ready to take on new enrollees as ObamaCare expands healthcare access for low-income people, according to a new state survey. Eight states reported to the Urban Institute that their Medicaid managed care programs — which tend to function like health maintenance organizations, or HMOs — will flexibly adapt to a greater beneficiary population thanks to past reforms (Viebeck, 5/29).