KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Burden Of Care For Many Immigrants Untouched By Medicaid Expansion

Also in the news, media outlets offer news and analysis regarding Medicaid expansion plans and debates in Florida, Pennsylvania and Missouri.

California Healthline: Immigrant Health Care: Many Not Eligible For Medicaid Expansion
For years, health officials in Southern and Southwestern states have struggled to provide adequate care for immigrants, and now it seems that the ACA will do little to ease their burden. The ACA does not change the current eligibility standard preventing most documented immigrants from enrolling in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program if they have resided in the U.S. for fewer than five years. States are permitted to cover such immigrants in the programs at their own expense, and Medicaid will cover emergency care for all immigrants. Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for public health insurance programs, and the ACA in most cases will further exclude them from new coverage opportunities (Wayt, 4/3).

Health News Florida: Making Sense Of Medicaid Expansion
One million of the lowest-income adults in Florida may get health coverage on Jan. 1 as part of the Affordable Care Act, paid for mostly with federal funds. Or maybe not. It all depends on what the Florida Legislature decides in the coming four weeks (Gentry, 4/4).

Philadelphia Inquirers: Corbett Says He May Accept Medicaid Plan To Finance Private Coverage
Gov. Corbett, under pressure to accept a federal expansion of Medicaid, said Wednesday he was looking at ways to use that money to fund private coverage for hundreds of thousands of uninsured Pennsylvanians. Corbett has resisted opting into the Medicaid expansion envisioned under President Obama's health care overhaul, saying he is concerned it would be too costly for the state down the road. He did not commit to changing his mind on Wednesday. After a late Tuesday meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, however, he said he may consider pursuing a private plan similar to what Arkansas, Ohio, and a handful of other states are exploring. Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, floated the concept as a way to win support from his Republican-controlled legislature (Worden, 4/3).

The Associated Press: Mo. House Panel Backs Medicaid Legislation
A Republican-led House committee approved a plan to expand and remake Missouri's Medicaid program Wednesday, but it may never take effect because it falls short of the demands of President Barack Obama's health care law. The legislation would authorize a fivefold increase in Missouri's income eligibility thresholds for adults to qualify for Medicaid. Yet it would not go as far as Obama's administration has said is necessary for states to receive full federal funding for the Medicaid expansion (Lieb, 4/3).

Kansas City Star: Nixon And Republicans Inching Toward Possible Missouri Medicaid Expansion
Gov. Jay Nixon hopscotched across the state for months trying to line up public support for adding 300,000 uninsured Missourians to Medicaid. Yet each time the issue has come before lawmakers, the Republican supermajority rejected it. On Wednesday, he made his case directly to those very lawmakers. They didn't sign on to his plan, but something in the middle looks to be taking shape. For the first time as governor, the Democrat met with the entire House GOP caucus for nearly an hour Wednesday. He emerged optimistic that Republicans will come on board with a middle-ground idea for expanding the public health insurance program for the poor -- a key component of the federal Affordable Care Act commonly known as Obamacare (Hancock and Kraske, 4/3).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.