Arkansas Official: No Back-Up If ‘Private Option’ Medicaid Expansion Is Blocked
The head of Arkansas' Department of Human Services said he doesn't have an alternative budget if lawmakers block the state's Medicaid expansion plan when they reconvene next month. Meanwhile, news outlets in Florida, Idaho and Maine report on debates over whether to pursue the expansion.
The Associated Press: State Health Care: No Plan B If 'Private Option' Funds Are Blocked
The head of Arkansas’ Department of Human Services on Tuesday said he doesn’t have a backup budget if lawmakers block funding for the state’s “private option,” despite growing signs that the compromise Medicaid expansion plan is at risk when the Legislature convenes next month. A Democratic lawmaker questioned the odds of the private option continuing after an opponent of it won a state Senate seat in a special election last week and a key supporter announced she no longer backed the plan (DeMillo, 1/21).
Miami Herald: Miami Lawmaker, State Sen. Rene Garcia, Pitches Longshot Bill For Medicaid Expansion
The debate over Medicaid expansion will return to the Florida Legislature this year, thanks to a state senator from Hialeah. Republican state Sen. Rene Garcia on Tuesday filed a proposal seeking to use federal Medicaid expansion dollars to buy private insurance policies for poor Floridians (Mitchell and McGrory, 1/22).
The Idaho Stateman: Fact Check: Is Otter Right On Medicaid Expansion?
Gov. Butch Otter, in his State of the State address this year, said “my answer remains no” to the prospect of Idaho expanding its Medicaid program to poor childless adults during this legislative session. Otter acknowledged the calls for expansion from business leaders, including the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, and reports that a mostly federally funded expansion would save Idaho hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade. ... The Idaho Statesman talked to officials in Otter’s administration and four independent experts about the state’s concerns. Most of them said it’s not unexpected for state governments to hang back and see what happens before jumping into Medicaid (Dutton, 1/21).
WCSH News (Portland, Maine): Republican Swing Votes Look For Medicaid Compromise
While Democratic and Republican leaders of the Maine Legislature stand firm on the issue of expanding Medicaid -Democrats for, Republicans against - a handful of Republicans look for a compromise that could help pass the expansion plan. There are few details being made public right now, but key members of the discussions say they are trying to develop some amendments to help control the rising cost of the Maine Care health insurance program, and possibly require Maine Care patients to make co-pays or reduce non-emergency use of hospital emergency rooms (1/21).