Republican Legislators In Utah Get Briefing On Medicaid Expansion Plan
The proposal, hammered out between legislative leaders and the governor, is unveiled to Republicans, but the public will have to wait until next week to get details. Also in the news, an aide to the South Dakota governor says his meeting with federal officials on a plan to expand Medicaid went well.
Salt Lake Tribune:
Leaders Roll Out Latest Plan To Provide Health Care To Utah’s Poor
Utah lawmakers got their first preview of a proposal hammered out in closed-door meetings by legislative leaders and Gov. Gary Herbert, seeking to provide health insurance coverage to as many as 126,500 low-income Utahns. A key component, and likely a key challenge to passage of the newly rebranded Utah Access Plus proposal, is that it calls on medical providers — hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, home health care providers and others — to cover the bulk of the cost for the expanded coverage. The idea is that they will be the ones who will benefit from the new revenue. (Gehrke, 9/29)
Lawmakers Get First Look At New Medicaid Expansion Plan
Lawmakers got their first look Tuesday at what's being called UtahAccess+, the new Medicaid expansion plan put together by Gov. Gary Herbert and Republican legislative leaders. No action was taken on the plan, unveiled in closed Republican caucuses in the House and Senate, that would bring some $450 million in federal funds to Utahns available under President Barack Obama's health care law. The public, along with the health care providers who'll be taxed to pay the state's share of the program's cost, will get an opportunity to weigh in on the plan next week at a Health Reform Task Force meeting. (Riley Roche, 9/29)
The Associated Press:
Utah Democrats Criticize Closed-Door GOP Medicaid Talks
Utah's Democratic Party is criticizing Republican lawmakers for meeting behind closed doors Tuesday to discuss a proposal to expand Medicaid. Democratic Party chair Peter Corroon says GOP House representatives and senators should have opened their Tuesday meetings to the media and the public when discussing such an important issue. (9/29)
Sioux Falls (S.D.) Argus Leader:
Medicaid Expansion Plan Gets Initial ‘Go Ahead’ In D.C.
An advisor to Gov. Dennis Daugaard says a plan to expand Medicaid in South Dakota earned an initial “go ahead” Tuesday from a top federal health administrator. Daugaard’s Senior Advisor Kim Malsam-Rysdon said the governor felt confident about the potential for expansion after meeting with U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell in Washington. “Secretary Burwell expressed an openness to consider some of the options we’re looking at,” Malsam-Rysdon said in a phone interview from Washington. “Her staff will continue to work on the specifics of what they can do at the federal level.” (Ferguson, 9/29)
At issue in some states is the question of requiring new Medicaid enrollees to work.
Should Medicaid Recipients Have To Work?
If Arizona gets its way, its able-bodied, low-income adults will face the toughest requirements in the country to receive health care coverage through Medicaid. Most of the state’s Medicaid recipients, and new applicants, would have to have a job, be looking for one or be in job training to qualify for the joint federal-state program for the poor. They would have to contribute their own money to health savings accounts, which they could tap into only if they met work requirements or engaged in certain types of healthy behavior, such as completing wellness physical exams or participating in smoking cessation classes. And most recipients would be limited to just five years of coverage as adults. (Ollove, 9/30)