Uninsured Rate Drops More In States That Expanded Medicaid, Run Own Exchanges
News outlets also provide updates on Medicaid expansion efforts and debates in Colorado, Virginia, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina and Indiana.
Politico: Poll: Uninsured Drops In Key States
States that have expanded Medicaid and opened their own exchanges have seen a higher rate of decline in the number of uninsured, compared with other states, a new poll show. The 21 states and D.C., which have done both, saw an average decline in uninsured of 2.5 percent, according to a poll released Wednesday by Gallup. The other 29 states that didn’t enact both measure had a dip in uninsured of less than 1 percent on average (McCalmont, 4/16).
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Health Law Push Brings Thousands Into Colo. Medicaid Who Were Already Eligible
The big marketing push to get people enrolled in health coverage between October and March resulted in 3 million people signing up for Medicaid. Hundreds of thousands of those people were already eligible and could have signed up even before the Affordable Care Act made it much more generous (Whitney, 4/16).
The Associated Press: Va. House Republicans Reaffirm Medicaid Opposition
House Republicans say they remain resolute in their opposition to using federal Medicaid funds to provide health insurance to as many as 400,000 low-income Virginians. During a conference call with reporters Tuesday, House Speaker William J. Howell said he is optimistic that Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Democratic lawmakers would back down from their support of a proposed state budget that includes expanding Medicaid eligibility. State services could shutter if a state budget isn’t passed by July 1 (4/15).
The Richmond Times-Dispatch: Marketplace Virginia Is ‘Probably Germane’ To Budget
House Speaker William J. Howell, R-Stafford, said Tuesday that the Senate’s Marketplace Virginia proposal “probably is germane” to the state budget, but that it represents the wrong way to govern. “Probably technically it would be germane,” Howell said in a news conference call. “It’s just not good public policy to govern that way.” The Senate has yet to act on the House budget proposal during the special session that began March 24, in part because of concern that Howell would rule as not germane the Marketplace Virginia plan to extend health coverage to hundreds of thousands of uninsured Virginians using federal funds reserved for states to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (Martz and Nolan, 4/15).
Raleigh News & Observer: Legislature Won’t Adopt Medicaid Recommendation This Year, Key Legislator Says
Rep. Nelson Dollar, a member of an advisory committee on Medicaid changes, liked the idea of creating Accountable Care Organizations a whole lot more than his Senate counterpart, Louis Pate, did. Pate has said the plan that the state Department of Health and Human Services rolled out in February didn’t go far enough. ... Though he likes the basics, Dollar says not to expect legislation this year that would allow ACOs to be in place by July 2015, as DHHS had posited (Bonner, 4/15).
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Adding Dental Care Contrasts With Mo. Legislature’s Opposition To Medicaid Expansion
Republican opposition in the state Senate has dimmed hopes that Missouri will expand Medicaid this year to cover the working poor. But agreements are percolating on what might be called Medicaid Expansion Lite. In the most far-reaching move, next year’s state operating budget almost certainly will restore limited dental coverage for 300,000 low-income adults whose benefits were cut in 2005. Coverage for rehabilitative therapy also might be reinstated (Young, 4/16).
Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader: Nixon Launches Pro-Medicaid Page On State Website
Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon has launched a pro-Medicaid expansion page on the official Missouri state website. At www.mo.gov/WePaidForIt, visitors see an interactive map of the U.S. showing what states have and have not expanded Medicaid. By hovering over each state, users can read how much federal tax revenue paid by Missourians is going to states that have expanded (Shorman, 4/15).
The Montana Standard: Attorney General Says Medicaid Initiative’s Fiscal Note Is Flawed
Attorney General Tim Fox has told the state Supreme Court that part of a voter-initiative petition to expand Medicaid in Montana is legally flawed, and should be rewritten to conform with the law. Fox, a Republican, said Monday he agreed with opponents of proposed Initiative 170 who say it has a “fiscal note” that overstates how much federal money Montana gets if the measure is passed, and therefore is misleading to those who would sign a petition to qualify I-170 for the November ballot. The alleged overstatement of federal money is $100 million over the next four years (Dennison, 4/15).
The Associated Press: Decision Sought On Indiana Plan
Two of the state’s top Republican lawmakers said Tuesday that they would like to see the federal government approve an expansion of Medicaid through the state’s health care plan for low-income residents, but they added that they have little idea how soon that could happen. U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon and state Rep. Tim Brown of Crawfordsville, who are both physicians, said they would like to see the Department of Health and Human Services approve the expansion being sought by Gov. Mike Pence through the Healthy Indiana Plan (LoBianco, 4/16).