KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Arkansas’ Model Medicaid Expansion Plan In Jeopardy

Arizona's efforts to expand the program are also facing challenges while a new approach is being advanced in Virginia.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Model Arkansas Way Of Expanding Medicaid At Risk
Arkansas’ plan for expanding Medicaid by buying private insurance policies for the poor instead of adding them to the rolls was heralded as a model for convincing more Republican-leaning states to adopt a key part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul (2/6).

The Associated Press: House Committee Backs Repeal Of Medicaid Expansion
Some Republican legislators are attempting to reverse Arizona's 2013 decision to expand the state's Medicaid program under the federal health care law, setting up a potential rematch with Gov. Jan Brewer and those who backed the expansion with majority votes in both chambers of the Legislature last year. Republican Rep. Adam Kwasman of Oro Valley said a vote by the House Reform Human Services Committee on Thursday that advanced his House Bill 2234 is the first step in what may be a long fight by conservatives opposed to the expansion (Christie, 2/6).

Arizona Republic: 2 Bills Seek To Curb Medicaid Expansion
A House panel on Thursday approved a pair of bills aimed at curtailing Arizona’s Medicaid program, continuing the Republican backlash to the Affordable Care Act and stoking the congressional ambitions of two lawmakers. The House Committee on Reform and Human Services approved a bill that would roll back the expansion of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System that the Legislature approved just eight months ago (Pitzl, 2/6).

The Richmond Times-Dispatch: Senate Proposes New Option On Health Insurance Coverage
A new proposal by Senate leaders would create a private insurance marketplace they portray as a commercial alternative to expanding the state’s Medicaid program and relying on the new federal insurance exchange to cover hundreds of thousands of uninsured Virginians. Sen. John Watkins, R-Powhatan, unveiled the proposal Thursday as legislation that he wants the Senate Finance Committee to include in the two-year budget it approves Feb. 16. The proposal would then go to a House Appropriations Committee that is likely to be hostile to anything that looks like Medicaid expansion. “The idea is we’re not going to expand Medicaid, but we’re going to cover the people it would be responsible for covering,” Watkins told the Finance Committee, which welcomed but did not act on the proposal (Martz, 2/7). 

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