Indiana Gov. Pence Details His Medicaid Expansion Alternative
In a speech to the American Enterprise Institute, the governor outlined a plan that he says will expand health coverage for low-income state residents while also giving people more control over their health care choices. Meanwhile, the stand-off over Virginia's Medicaid expansion is causing the budget situation to worsen. News outlets also provide related updates from Wisconsin, California and Missouri.
The Washington Post: Pence Promotes Alternative Health Care Proposal
The Republican governor introduced his state proposal that he says would act as an alternative to Medicaid. In a speech to the American Enterprise Institute, Pence said his plan would help expand health coverage for low-income residents but provide more flexibility to allow people to manage their own health care needs (5/19).
The Washington Post: Virginia Budget Situation Worsens
The dire budget news seemed only to drive the House and Senate further apart, as each side used the bleak financials to bolster its case for or against Medicaid expansion. The central sticking point in the budget impasse is whether to open the health-care program for the poor to an additional 400,000 Virginians. Senate budget leaders, who like McAuliffe support expansion, say the shortfall shows how much Virginia needs the federal Medicaid money, which initially would amount to $5 million a day. But House budget leaders, already skeptical that Virginia can afford expansion, says the bleak financials are another reason to keep it at bay (Vozzella, 5/19).
The Associated Press: $300 Million Budget Gap Possible For Va. Budget
Republican and Democrats haven’t been able to pass a roughly $96 billion biennial budget for several weeks because of disagreements over whether to expand Medicaid eligibility to as many as 400,000 low income residents. McAuliffe and most Democrats favor expanding eligibility, most Republicans do not. Republicans said Monday they’ve always had a sense of urgency about passing a state budget. But they said the projected shortfall bolsters their case for passing a budget without Medicaid expansion, saying more reforms of current Medicaid spending are needed first (5/19).
The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: California’s Medicaid Conundrum
Two recent articles on California’s fiscal situation illustrate the mixed messages coming from some states, which face rising costs from expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act even as they grapple with a reduced, and frequently fickle, tax base. … Some states opted to expand Medicaid under the health-care law, raising costs and budgetary pressures at a time of volatile tax revenue. In some cases, the result has been cognitive dissonance. California Gov. Jerry Brown was quoted in Thursday’s Journal saying: “We can’t spend at the peak of the revenue cycle -- we need to save that money, as much of it as we can.” But two days earlier, Mr. Brown had expressed pride in the “huge social commitment” that health-care expansion represented in his state—even as it caused a billion-dollar overspend (Jacobs, 5/19).
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Scott Walker Touts 19,000 More Insured After Snubbing Federal Money
About 19,000 more low-income state residents are gaining state health coverage -- more than expected -- under a plan put forward by Gov. Scott Walker. The plan, which passed as part of the state budget last summer in response to President Barack Obama's health care law, avoids using federal money available under that federal law that would have allowed for a greater expansion of the state's BadgerCare Plus Medicaid program. The Walker administration announced the figures on the plan Monday, saying 81,731 adults below the poverty line signed up for BadgerCare in recent months because of the change and began receiving it April 1 (Stein, 5/19).
The Associated Press: About 19,000 Added To Wisconsin Medicaid Rolls
Gov. Scott Walker's changes to Wisconsin's BadgerCare Medicaid program will result in about 19,000 more people getting coverage, even after nearly 63,000 people who earn more than poverty level are dropped, based on figures released Monday. The changes proposed by Walker and approved by the Legislature restricted access to Medicaid to those whose earnings are at or below the poverty level. At the same time, Walker expanded coverage to childless adults who previously had been on a waiting list (Bauer, 5/19).
St. Louis Post Dispatch: Nixon’s Push For Medicaid Expansion Dies
Gov. Jay Nixon’s push to expand Medicaid for Missourians failed. Nixon argued for taking advantage of 100 percent federal funding for three years, followed by a phased-in, five-year decrease to 90 percent, with the state taking on the remaining 10 percent (Ventimiglia, 5/19).