Ark. House Vote Falls Short For ‘Private Option’ Medicaid Expansion
Also in the news, other states -- including Missouri, Wyoming and Utah -- continue to contemplate their own efforts to expand the program or health insurance coverage for low-income people.
The Wall Street Journal: Arkansas House Fails To Pass 'Private Option' Health Law
The Arkansas House of Representatives on Tuesday failed to pass legislation to continue a state program that used Medicaid dollars to enroll low-income residents in private health insurance, throwing the future of the nationally watched program into doubt (Campoy and Radnofsky, 2/18).
The Associated Press/New York Times: Arkansas: Compromise On Medicaid Is Held Up
The Arkansas House failed Tuesday to renew the state’s compromise Medicaid expansion plan, leaving in limbo a program heralded as a model for Republican-leaning states to implement the federal health overhaul (2/18).
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Arkansas Lawmaker Pans Va. Medicaid Plan
The war of words between Democratic and Republican lawmakers over whether to accept federal Medicaid funds to provide health insurance to low-income residents continued at the Capitol Tuesday, with members from both parties accusing the other of being out-of-touch obstructionists. Leaders in the GOP-controlled Virginia House organized a news conference call with a top state lawmaker from Arkansas, who saying his state has buyer’s remorse after approving a Medicaid compromise plan last year (2/18).
St. Louis Public Radio: Missouri Chamber Endorses New Bill Expanding Medicaid To Low-Income Workers
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce is lauding a new Medicaid expansion proposal that the business group contends could allow Missouri to take advantage of the $2 billion a year in federal subsidies that it currently has declined to accept. The chamber says the proposal, filed by state Rep. Noel Torpey, R-Independence, would increase the state’s eligibility standards for Medicaid to cover working adults who earn less than the federal poverty level, which now is $11,670 a year for a single person (Mannies, 2/18).
The Associated Press: Wyo. Legislative Panel To Consider Medicaid Bill
Wyoming Democratic Party officials said Tuesday they are trying to muster support for the last surviving bill in the state's ongoing legislative session that would expand the state's Medicaid system. The bill sponsored by Sen. Chris Rothfuss, a D-Laramie, faces a hearing Wednesday morning before the Senate Labor, Health and Social Services Committee. Three of the five committee members voted against the introduction of Rothfuss' bill in the Senate last week (Neary, 2/18).
The Salt Lake Tribune: House Leaders To Punt On Hundreds Of Millions In Federal Medicaid Money
House Republican leaders unveiled a stripped-down proposal for covering uninsured Utahns, forgoing nearly $800 million in federal Medicaid expansion dollars and instead creating a narrow, state-run program to cover parents below the poverty line or those with serious medical conditions. House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, said legislators have been given a "false choice," between taking hundreds of millions of federal dollars or doing nothing (Gehrke and Stewart, 2/18).
Deseret News: House GOP Leadership Unveils Medicaid Expansion Alternative
House Republicans unveiled a state-funded alternative to taking federal funds to expand Medicaid coverage in Utah that will cost an estimated $30 million to $35 million annually over the next two years. Under the plan, presented to the House GOP caucus Tuesday, the state would forgo more than $500 million in each of those years in federal dollars available under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare (Roche, 2/18).
In other related news -
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Md. Medicaid Head Leaving As Program Adds Clients
The head of Maryland’s Medicaid program is leaving his post as the program adds tens of thousands of new clients under the health care overhaul. The Daily Record reports that Charles Milligan is expected to leave his post as deputy secretary of health care financing at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in April (2/18).