Medicaid Expansion Concept Gains Momentum In Initially Reluctant States
Reuters reports that this development has to do with financial pragmatism -- especially in GOP-led states that were at the forefront of opposition to the health law. The Associated Press provides a status check on Indiana's expansion request.
Reuters: Money Talks: Obamacare Initiative Makes Headway In Republican States
President Barack Obama’s plan to extend health coverage to millions of poor Americans remains highly contentious, yet it is gaining momentum among several initially reluctant states where financial pragmatism is trumping ideology. Up to a dozen states, including several led by Republicans, could move forward with plans to expand coverage under Medicaid after the November elections. They take their cue from Pennsylvania and other states that have won Washington's approval to add commercial innovations to the 50-year-old government program to make it more palatable to conservatives. Obama's original idea of using tax money to expand Medicaid has long been a hot button for Republicans who portray the whole Obamacare healthcare overhaul as a form of socialism encroaching on American values of free enterprise and self-reliance. Texas Governor Rick Perry once said expanding Medicaid would be similar to "adding a thousand people to the Titanic” (Morgan, 9/26).
The Associated Press: Advocates Call For Action On Indiana Medicaid Plan
Health care advocates and industry lobbyists are asking federal officials for speedy approval of Indiana’s Medicaid expansion request. Leaders from the Indiana Hospital Association, the Indiana State Medical Association and other groups said Thursday that the expansion is critical to providing care for the state’s working poor. Republican Gov. Mike Pence has proposed using the state’s Healthy Indiana Plan as a basis for expanding Medicaid coverage. The proposal — named Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0, or HIP 2.0 — would allow for modified health savings account plans for low-income residents and allow them to buy improved coverage (LoBianco, 9/25).
Meanwhile, in other Medicaid news -
The Associated Press: Senators: Widen Medicaid Program For Frail Seniors
More than a dozen U.S. senators from both parties are calling on the Obama administration to broaden a Medicaid program for the nation’s frailest seniors, calling it a proven alternative to pricier nursing home care as states seek to limit long-term medical costs. In a letter released Thursday, the senators urged the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to follow through on plans to loosen restrictions on the Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly. PACE is open to Medicaid-eligible seniors and people with disabilities who need nursing home care (9/25).