Ohio Lawmakers Defy Gov. Kasich To Approve Budget Halting Medicaid Expansion
The governor's office has estimated that 500,000 state residents could be denied coverage because of the freeze on new enrollment. Many legislators expect Gov. John Kasich to veto the measure, but they think they can override that. News outlets also report on Medicaid issues in Texas, Illinois and Mississippi.
Ohio Lawmakers Vote To Freeze Medicaid Expansion
Ohio's Republican-controlled legislature voted on Wednesday to freeze enrollment in the state's Medicaid healthcare insurance for the poor, setting the stage for a showdown with Republican Governor John Kasich, who favors expanding the program. The proposed Medicaid freeze, which would deny coverage to hundreds of thousands of Ohio residents who lack job-related health insurance and cannot afford to purchase their own, was adopted as part of a $65 billion two-year budget plan. (Palmer, 6/28)
Ohio House Approves Budget Bill, Sending It To Gov. John Kasich
Much of the House debate focused on the bill's restrictions on Medicaid, the joint state-federal health insurance program for poor and disabled Americans. More than 725,000 Ohioans have been added to the rolls since the state expanded eligibility to those making up to 138 percent of the poverty level. Kasich's Office of Health Transformation estimates 500,000 Ohioans would lose coverage because of the freeze. Republicans defended the freeze as a way to rein in costs on a program that has doubled from its initial estimates. (Borchardt, 6/28)
$65.5B State Budget Passes; Veto Battle With Kasich Looms
Both Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, and House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville, told members they may return to session next week for potential override votes. Neither leader would publicly speculate what Kasich planned to veto, but many expect the Medicaid expansion to be among them. ... The issue sparked spirited debates in the House and Senate over the proposal to freeze Medicaid expansion enrollment starting July 1, 2018, after which no new Ohioans could enroll. Those already enrolled could not come back on the program later, if they temporarily get a better job but then lose it, unless they are getting mental health or drug addiction treatment. (Siegel, 6/28)
The Associated Press:
Texas Medicaid Cuts Leave Special Needs Kids Without Therapy
Stacey English has modest desires for her 7-year-old daughter Addison: Be able to eat without gagging and move both her arms. But since Addison's occupational therapist went out of business this winter, the child with a rare genetic disorder has regressed in her fight to do even that much. "I don't know where to go from here," said English, who has been unable to find a replacement therapist in their Texas college town of College Station. "How do you continue to help her make progress when you don't have someone to teach her?" (Hoffman, 6/28)
Illinois Is Back In Court Over Medicaid Bills
Illinois will find out Friday if its finances will take yet another hit when a judge rules whether the cash-strapped state needs to immediately pay down at least $2.8 billion of unpaid Medicaid bills. During a status hearing in Chicago on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow said she’ll rule June 30, which is also the last day for Illinois leaders to pass a budget before the start of a new fiscal year. Lefkow ruled June 7 that Illinois isn’t meeting its Medicaid funding responsibilities and ordered both sides to hash out a way to hasten the payments. Since then, negotiations have failed, according to a court filing from lawyers for the Medicaid recipients who asked Lefkow to order Illinois to pay $1.1 billion a month to catch up on new and old bills. (Campbell and Hanna, 6/28)
Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger:
'Medicaid Saved My Life.'
[Shan Copeland] never would have been able to have that life-saving surgery if she hadn't had Medicaid. A single mother of three, Copeland, 28, has had multiple surgeries relating to Pseudotumor cerebri, a condition that causes fluid to gather in her brain. The condition can lead to a multitude of issues, including debilitating migraines and blindness. (Fowler, 6/28)