KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

GOP Governors Respond To CMS Signs Of Flexibility Regarding Medicaid Expansion

CQ HealthBeat reports that some Republican state executives were not impressed with the decision by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials to allow states that proceed with expansion plans now to scale back their Medicaid programs later.

CQ HealthBeat: Republicans Say It's Not Enough For CMS To Let States That Expand Medicaid To Drop Out Later
Republican governors are not impressed with federal officials' decision to allow states that expand their Medicaid programs to scale back the programs later. Earlier this week, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Deputy Administrator Cindy Mann said that a state may choose whether and when to expand their coverage under the 2010 health care law. If a state covers the expansion group — adults who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level — she said it may decide later to drop the coverage (Adams, 8/8).

Modern Healthcare: States Can Expand Medicaid, Cut It Later, CMS Says
States that expand their Medicaid programs under provisions of the federal healthcare overhaul are free to cut them again in the future, the CMS has confirmed. Cindy Mann, director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations at the CMS, said the agency will allow states that expand their Medicaid eligibility to receive 100% federal funding for the newly eligible in 2014-2016 to cut their rolls in the future (Daly,  8/8).

Also, Reuters reports on a possible health law consequence -

Reuters: Health Reform May Expose Immigrant Status Of Millions
As she was ushered into surgery eight years ago, Paula was confident that doctors at Washington's Howard University Hospital would find the cancer that had been growing in her right breast for months. She was less certain about where she would wake up the next day. She and other illegal immigrants worry that their ability to access healthcare at facilities like La Clinica will become even more risky once President Barack Obama's healthcare law takes effect. The reform requires all U.S. citizens and permanent residents to obtain health insurance, either through the government-run Medicaid program for the poor or by purchasing private insurance via state exchanges starting in 2014. It also bars undocumented immigrants from participating. As more low-income citizens receive insurance, the fear is that many of the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants will be easier to identify just because they lack coverage (Ebrahim 8/9).

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