KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Ohio Lawmaker Introduces Medicaid Expansion Bill

In Michigan, a committee vote on the expansion could come today. Elsewhere, New Hampshire and Wisconsin are considering expansion of coverage to childless adults, among others.

Columbus Dispatch: Hoping To Jump-Start Process, Democrat Introduces Medicaid Expansion Bill
Frustrated by the inaction of state GOP leaders, a Democratic senator introduced another bill to expand Medicaid yesterday, this one including many Republican-sought changes to the health care program for poor and disabled Ohioans. The nudge likely won't spark legislative action soon but it did ignite another round of debate about how much progress has been made (Candisky, 7/31).

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Latest Ohio Medicaid Expansion Proposal Introduced
Democratic Sen. Capri Cafaro unveiled during a Tuesday news conference the latest legislative measure aimed at reforming and expanding Medicaid in Ohio. And while Cafaro's proposal included some new policy, the senator focused mostly on trying to dispel a central Republican complaint -- Medicaid expansion would siphon money from state coffers. Cafaro argues that expanding Medicaid would save Ohio billions (Blackwell, 7/30).

Detroit Free Press: Medicaid Expansion Vote In State Senate Committee Could Come Wednesday
A committee vote on expanding Medicaid to 470,000 additional Michiganders could happen as soon as Wednesday. The Senate Government Operations Committee heard three hours of testimony Tuesday, mostly from supporters of the plan to expand Medicaid to people who fall between 100 percent and 133 percent of the federal poverty level. ... But opponents of the expansion will get their turn Wednesday, when Republican Sens. Patrick Colbeck of Canton and Bruce Caswell of Hillsdale offer their bills that would provide health care for low-income residents, but without any federal money (Gray, 7/30).

Detroit News: Michigan Senate Committee Expected To Vote On Medicaid Expansion
It’s unclear how much support the bill will get from the Senate Republican caucus, which broke for the summer without bringing the issue to the floor because fewer than 50 percent of GOP senators supported the expansion (Bouffard, 7/30).

The Associated Press: Medicaid Panels Hear Insurance Options
Subsidizing private insurance to cover poor adults eligible for Medicaid would be difficult at the outset, New Hampshire's Insurance Department told a special commission studying Medicaid expansion on Tuesday. The nine-member commission is charged with recommending by Oct. 15 to lawmakers whether New Hampshire should expand Medicaid to an estimated 49,000 poor adults (Love, 7/30).

The Associated Press: 20 Wisconsin Counties Press For Medicaid Funds
Twenty Wisconsin counties want to circumvent the state and its rejection of the federal Medicaid expansion and deal directly with the federal government for low-income health care dollars.The counties have sent a letter to state health Secretary Kitty Rhoades asking that the state be only the conduit for the federal funds (7/30).

In Texas, a federal health law ban on asset tests for Medicaid eligibility has some worried about costs --

Texas Tribune: Medicaid Asset Test Ban Draws Concerns
With key components of the Affordable Care Act set to take effect in January, state officials are worried that one regulation -- the ban on asset evaluation in calculating Medicaid eligibility -- could increase costs and decrease efficiency in processing Medicaid applications. Texas is one of three states to examine applicants’ assets -- such as cars, bank accounts and homes -- in addition to their incomes in determining whether they qualify for Medicaid, the public health insurance program for low-income children and people with disabilities (Luthra, 7/31).

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