KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

State-Level Debate About Medicaid Expansion Heats Up

Medicaid expansion news from Missouri, Arkansas, Ohio and Florida.

The Associated Press/Kansas City Star: Missouri Gov. Nixon Seeks Medicaid Answers From Feds
Gov. Jay Nixon led a three-front charge Tuesday to expand Missouri’s Medicaid program, meeting privately with reluctant state senators, rallying publicly with hundreds of disability advocates and chatting with the nation’s top health care official about whether particular Medicaid proposals could win federal approval. Nixon, a Democrat, has made Medicaid expansion under the terms of President Barack Obama’s health care law his top legislative priority this year, despite resistance from a Republican-led legislature over expanding eligibility to as many lower-income adults as envisioned by the federal law (Lieb, 4/9).

St. Louis Beacon: Debate Over Medicaid Expansion Is At Hot As Gun Control In Parts Of South Missouri
While enjoying a plate of gravy and biscuits at Feller's Family Restaurant last Friday morning in Willow Springs, Mo., Johnny Morgan energized the breakfast conversation with examples of what he regards as unwarranted government intrusion into people's lives. … His tone had grown somber by the time he got around to another hot topic, Medicaid expansion, which he and many others derided as Obamacare. They said it means more government control and that Missouri would be better off rejecting Washington’s start-up money for it (Joiner, 4/10).

The Associated Press: Ark. House Panel Oks Medicaid 'Private Option'
A proposal to have Arkansas use federal Medicaid funds to subsidize private health insurance for low-income residents won approval from a state House committee on Tuesday, but the plan faced opposition from some Republicans as it moved toward a vote in the full chamber. House Public Health Committee approved the Senate-backed Medicaid "private option" proposal on a voice vote, minutes after the top Republican in the House withdrew his name as a sponsor of the bill and said he would vote against the proposal (Stratford, 4/9).

The Associated Press: Ohio House To Drop Medicaid Expansion
A Republican-controlled legislative panel will drop Gov. John Kasich's proposal to expand the Medicaid program from the state’s two-year budget plan, The Associated Press has learned, as advocates for extending the health care coverage to thousands more low-income Ohioans prepared to rally against the move. A person with knowledge of the budget negotiations confirmed to the AP on Monday that House lawmakers will strip the idea from their version of the state spending blueprint. The person requested anonymity because the information had not yet been made public (Smyth and Sanner, 4/9).

Health News Florida: Federal-Funding Frenzy Grows At Capitol
Republicans who control the Florida House hint they're about to unveil their version of a health plan for the state's low-income uninsured between now and Monday. It appears that they still intend to turn down more than $50 million in federal funds that would pay the tab (Gentry, 4/10).

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