Missouri Medicaid Expansion Fight Heats Up Ahead Of Vote
Whether Missouri should expand its Medicaid program will be put to voters next Tuesday. In other Medicaid news: Texas extends pandemic flexibility; telehealth users want permanent change; and many doctors support benefits for unemployed.
The Kansas City Star:
Anti-Medicaid Ad Uses Baseless Claims About Immigrants To Warn Against Expansion
Missouri’s anti-Medicaid expansion committee has sent out mailers claiming baselessly that undocumented immigrants will crowd citizens out of Missouri hospitals if voters endorse a proposed constitutional amendment expanding the state’s Medicaid program. Undocumented immigrants are not eligible to enroll in Medicaid — a fact the mailers neglect to address. (Kelly, 7/30)
What's At Stake When You Vote On Medicaid Expansion In Missouri
Missouri voters will decide in the Aug.4 primary whether to expand eligibility in the state’s Medicaid program to include people with higher incomes who may be healthy. Health care advocates have been pushing for expansion for years, which states were given the option to do when the federal Affordable Care Act was approved in 2010. (Smith, 7/30)
Gov. Abbott Extends Medicaid Flexibilities, Emergency Food Benefits Through August
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will extend Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) flexibilities through Oct. 23 during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced Thursday. Abbott also announced the extension of the emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits. HHSC will provide $185 million to more than 961,000 Texas households in August as a result of the extension, Abbott said. (7/30)
Will Telehealth Continue After The Pandemic Passes?
To allow that expansion, federal and state governments temporarily rolled back dozens of regulations around Medicare and Medicaid, prescription access and security. For example, they allowed telehealth to be provided over non-HIPAA-compliant platforms like Zoom. But now that so many people use telehealth, lawmakers don’t want to go back to the way it was before. (Beck, 7/30)
The Unemployed Need Medicaid Expansion
Workers without health insurance have a few options of varying quality. They can shell out for COBRA, which can run families over $1,000 a month, or shop for a new plan on the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace exchanges, or apply for Medicaid, an easier process in states that have expanded the program. According to a new poll, many physicians see that last option as a way to help people who are now desperate for health care. On the 55th anniversary of its creation, Medicaid is still a lifesaver. (Jones, 7/30)
In Medicare news —
Medicare Coverage For Alzheimer Brain Scans In Question
A big study to help Medicare officials decide whether to start covering brain scans to check for Alzheimer’s disease missed its goals for curbing health care costs, calling into question whether the pricey tests are worth it. The results announced Thursday are from a $100 million study of more than 25,000 Medicare recipients. It’s been closely watched by private insurers too, as the elderly population grows and more develop this most common form of dementia, which currently has no cure. (Marchione, 7/30)