KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Arrests In Ga. After Medicaid Expansion Protests

Several dozen people were arrested Tuesday after protests at the Georgia state capitol targeting Gov. Nathan Deal's decision to not expand Medicaid under the health law. Elsewhere, Medicaid expansion makes news in New Mexico, New Jersey and California.

The New York Times: Budding Liberal Protest Movements Begin To Take Root In South
By the end of the day, they were among the 39 people who were arrested Tuesday during choreographed waves of civil disobedience here at the [Georgia] state Capitol in protest of the state’s refusal to expand Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act (Buchsbaum, 3/18).

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Arrests Follow Protests At State Capitol
More than 40 people were arrested Tuesday in a string of protests targeting Gov. Nathan Deal’s decision not to expand Medicaid in Georgia under the Affordable Care Act. Dr. Raphael Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was pastor, was among those placed in handcuffs by Georgia State Patrol troopers. Warnock and a group of supporters staged a sit-in outside of Deal’s office Tuesday afternoon. They were arrested without incident and led away as the remaining crowd of protesters sang “We Shall Not Be Moved” (Davis and Joyner, 3/18).

The Associated Press: New Mexico Enrolls 103k In Medicaid Since October
Gov. Susana Martinez's administration reports that about 103,000 low-income New Mexicans have enrolled in Medicaid since the state expanded who qualifies for the health care program last year. Human Services Department spokesman Matt Kennicott said the state is on track to meet projections that about 130,000 people will gain medical coverage during the first year of the Medicaid expansion (Massey, 3/19).

Marketplace: Signing Up New Patients Is Just The Beginning
Uninsured Americans have just 15 days left to enroll for health coverage through one of the exchanges before the Affordable Care Act’s March 31 deadline. But when it comes to Medicaid -- the health plan for people with low-incomes -- there is no deadline. People can, and are, signing up. In Camden, New Jersey -- the community Marketplace is watching throughout the ACA's first year -- thousands of applications are pouring in every month, and all three of the city’s hospitals are serious about enrolling uninsured patients in some kind of insurance under the Affordable Care Act (Gorenstein, 3/18).

The California Health Report: Homeless Are Hesitant To Use Medi-Cal
The expansion of Medi-Cal under the Affordable Care Act means that the homeless have more health care options this year than ever before.Yet the handful of free homeless medical clinics in Modesto continue to see lines of patients eager to use their services. Some homeless people have trouble understanding the Medi-Cal enrollment process or providing the needed paperwork. Others would just rather be around other homeless people. Because of their hard life on the streets, they don’t always feel comfortable in more traditional settings (Renner, 3/19).

And movement on the proposal to expand Medicaid in Virginia --

The Richmond Times-Dispatch: Warner Says He’ll Support Bipartisan Marketplace Virginia
Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., is urging lawmakers in Richmond to find a compromise on Medicaid expansion and pledged to back the bipartisan Marketplace Virginia plan that has emerged in the state Senate. “If Virginia passes a Virginia-centric plan, I would support at a federal level getting the appropriate waivers,” Warner said in an interview Tuesday in Richmond, where he met with students, educators and college graduates to discuss college affordability issues. Warner, who is up for re-election this year, also reiterated his support for an increase in the minimum wage and for pursuing alternative energy sources while finding cleaner ways to burn coal (Schmidt, 3/18).

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