KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Court Gives Ohio Gov. Kasich Gets Green Light For Medicaid Expansion

Elsewhere, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signs bill to postpone changes to BadgerCare, and Pennsylvania officials seek support for Gov. Tom Corbett's "Healthy Pennsylvania" plan.

Columbus Dispatch: Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Kasich's Expansion Of Medicaid 
The Ohio Supreme Court yesterday cleared the way for Gov. John Kasich’s expansion of Medicaid to an estimated 275,000 poor, uninsured Ohioans. In a 4-3 ruling released late in the afternoon, the court found a legislative panel that oversees government spending acted within state law when it accepted federal aid to fund the expansion (Candisky, 12/21).

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Ohio Supreme Court Rejects Efforts To Halt Expansion Of Medicaid To Cover Working Poor 
The Ohio Supreme Court on Friday rejected efforts by six conservative Republican legislators and two right-to-life organizations to thwart the expansion of Medicaid in Ohio. The court’s ruling was 4-3, but the three who dissented did not side with the plaintiffs. Rather, they thought the case should not have been heard (Higgs, 12/20).

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Walker Signs Bill Delaying Badgercare Changes Because Of Obamacare Problems 
About 83,000 of the state's poorest residents would wait three months to join the BadgerCare Plus health plan and a slightly smaller low-income group would keep existing coverage in the program for three months longer, under a bill signed by Gov. Scott Walker on Friday. The legislation passed the Senate Thursday by an 18-12 vote, with all Republicans in favor, all Democrats in attendance opposing it and three Democrats absent. The Assembly voted 64-32 for the bill on Dec. 4. "This bill gives the federal government more time to fix major issues with the (federal) Affordable Care Act and it gives Wisconsinites more time to make a logical health care transition," Walker said in a statement (Stein, 12/20).

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Corbett's Medicaid Proposal Gets Cheered And Jeered Here 
[Pennsylvania's Secretary of Public Welfare Beverly] Mackereth visited Downtown for the second stop of a journey across the state to collect public comments on Mr. Corbett's "Healthy Pennsylvania" plan, which the Republican governor is pushing in lieu of a Medicaid expansion offered by the federal Affordable Care Act. From the courthouse lobby, she was serenaded by a few dozen protesters from the Cover the Commonwealth Coalition, who say the governor's plan slashes Medicaid benefits and makes it harder to apply for help. In a musical twist on "Jingle Bells," they asked Mr. Corbett to "do the right thing" (McGill, 12/21).

The Washington Post: Health Q&A: How Is Medicaid Changing?
The Affordable Care Act made some pretty substantial changes to Medicaid. First, it allowed states, starting Jan. 1, to expand the program to include anyone who makes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level — about $15,800 for an individual and $32,500 for a family of four. This is a big change, because most states only opened Medicaid to children, pregnant women, some very low-income parents, people with disabilities and the elderly. They excluded childless adults (Somashekhar, 12/21).

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