Medicaid Expansion, Uninsured Coverage Issues Continue To Simmer In Virginia
Meanwhile, Michigan's expansion of the health insurance program for low-income people is a topic in the gubernatorial campaign, and in Ohio, Medicaid picks up some inmate health care costs.
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Poll: Most Back Va. Medicaid Expansion, But Concern Continues Over Costs
More than six out of 10 Virginia voters support an expansion of Medicaid benefits to cover the estimated 400,000 state residents in the coverage gap, according to a new survey released on the eve of a special session of the Virginia General Assembly to discuss the issue. But nearly half of Virginians surveyed have doubts that the federal government would fully fund its share of the program, according to the poll, conducted by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University (Nolan, 9/17).
The Associated Press: Va. Hospitals Lament Limited Health Care Expansion
With an expansion of Medicaid in Virginia all but pronounced dead, the state’s hospitals and health care systems are bracing for tough decisions on how to balance their budgets. State lawmakers are holding a special legislative session on the topic starting Thursday, but there's been no sign that Republican opposition to Medicaid expansion has wavered (9/16).
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Governor Endorses A House Republican's Proposal On Health Care
Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Tuesday endorsed a proposal by Del. Thomas D. Rust, R-Fairfax, to use federal funds to expand health care coverage for uninsured Virginians through a new system that would rely on private insurance purchased through employer group plans, Medicaid managed-care policies, or the federal insurance marketplace. McAuliffe issued a statement that called the Virginia Health Care Independence Act "a conservative compromise proposal" that the General Assembly should approve when it meets Thursday for a special session to debate whether and how to provide health coverage to hundreds of thousands of uninsured state residents under the Affordable Care Act (Martz, 9/17).
The Associated Press: Mich. Republican Governor Touts Medicaid Expansion In Re-Election Bid
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday touted Michigan's successful Medicaid expansion as part of his re-election bid, saying 63,000 more low-income adults have signed up than projected this year, with 3 ½ months left. The Republican governor said about 385,000 enrolled between April, when the Healthy Michigan program launched, and Monday. His administration had expected 322,000 signups by year's end. His embrace of a key component of the federal health care law roiled conservative activists. But Snyder's campaign is hoping expanded Medicaid's appeal among the broader electorate helps him in November (Eggert, 9/16).
Columbus Dispatch: Ohio Inmate Health Care Cut $10.3 Million, Mostly Due To Medicaid Expansion
Ohio paid $10.3 million less for health care for prisoners in the 2014 fiscal year, mostly due to Medicaid expansion. The Ohio Legislative Services Commission reported that most of the savings resulted from the change on July 1, 2013, when Medicaid began picking up most of the inmate medical costs. That happened as a result of Gov. John Kasich's decision to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, a decision opposed by state lawmakers. ... The total state bill for prisoners was $184.7 million (Johnson, 9/16).
Also, exploring a policy issue related to Medicaid expansion -
Modern Healthcare: Reform Update: Premiums May Prevent Low-Income Residents From Enrolling In Medicaid, Experts Say
Hungry to get holdout states to expand Medicaid, the Obama administration has been increasingly willing to allow them to impose premiums and cost-sharing on low-income residents. But policy experts generally agree that the fees will mean many newly eligible people won't enroll, and some say the administrative costs will exceed the revenue the fees generate (Dickson, 9/16).