KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Fallout From Medicaid Expansion Fights

In Virginia, The Washington Post traces the behind-the-scenes deal-making to create a job for the Democratic state lawmaker whose resignation gave Republicans control of the chamber and the ability to block Gov. Terry McAuliffe's plan to expand Medicaid. Meanwhile, a Missouri hospital lays off 60 employees, blaming the state's failure to expand Medicaid.

The Washington Post: E-Mails Outline Turmoil At Va. Tobacco Panel Over Puckett’s Hiring
Sen. Phillip P. Puckett was about to get a good gig with the state tobacco commission, one created just for him, with a job description he was invited to write himself. Maybe even a state car. The only problem was timing. If the commission hired Puckett on the same day that the Democrat from rural Russell County stepped down from the Senate, it might look fishy. His resignation would give the Republicans control of the chamber, giving them the advantage in a budget standoff over Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s top priority: Medicaid expansion. The head of the commission warned that they should " 'decouple' those announcements for the sake of the appearance of the Commission manipulating the Senate balance of power and starting WW3 w/ the Governor’s administration" (Vozzella and Portnoy, 6/27).

Associated Press:  Missouri Hospital Lays Off 60 Employees, CEO Blames Lack Of Medicaid Expansion
Ozarks Community Hospital says it will lay off up to 60 of its employees in the Springfield area. CEO Paul Taylor said in a letter dated Wednesday that the layoffs will occur during the next 60 days. The hospital has about 800 employees, with 500 working in the Springfield area. The Springfield News-Leader reports Taylor blamed the layoffs on the Missouri Legislature's failure to expand Medicaid in the state (6/27).

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