KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Arkansas Compromise On Medicaid Expansion Hits Roadblock

The compromise, which was viewed as a model for other states, failed to garner the necessary 75 votes in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives. Meanwhile, in Kansas, expansion advocates say they will renew their fight next year.

Reuters: Arkansas Fails To Muster Medicaid Compromise Seen As U.S. Model
Arkansas lawmakers rejected on Monday a compromise measure that would have extended health insurance to more of its low-income citizens, turning back what some saw as a possible model for other states also wrestling with opposition to U.S. government expansion plans for Medicaid. The measure failed to attract the 75 votes needed in the Republican-dominated Arkansas House of Representatives, drawing 69 votes for, 28 against and one abstention (Parker, 4/15).

Kansas Health Institute: Medicaid Expansion Advocates Setting Sights On Next Year
Advocates pushing Kansas officials to expand Medicaid acknowledge it is unlikely they will achieve their goal this year. But they said they remain hopeful they can convince Gov. Sam Brownback and legislators next year to make more Kansans eligible for the program (McLean, 4/15).

And a progress report from California -

California Healthline: Advocates Push For Expansion Compromise
The Legislature last week moved two key components of the special session bills on health care reform. SBX1-2 by Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) and ABX1-2 by Assembly member Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) passed through committees of the opposite house. Both bills make changes to the individual health insurance market. The Assembly Committee on Health approved SBX1-2, and it's now going to Appropriations; and ABX1-2 moved through the Senate Committee on Health on its way to Senate Appropriations. Both bills were approved in floor votes in their own house so they are nearing final approval. Also last week, a Senate floor vote unanimously approved SBX1-3 by Sen. Hernandez, the bridge plan to help people move from Medi-Cal to the exchange more easily. That bill now moves to the Assembly (Gorn, 4/15).

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