KHN Morning Briefing

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S.D. Governor’s Plan For Medicaid Expansion Aided By New Federal Policy On Indian Health Funding

Gov. Dennis Daugaard's proposal was not getting much traction among legislators, but it could be revived by the announcement Friday that the federal government would reimburse 100 percent for Indian Health Service patients who get care at non-IHS facilities. Also, The Associated Press looks at the Republican infighting in Arkansas over the state's unique Medicaid expansion program.

Rapid City (S.D.) Journal: Federal Pledge Revives Medicaid Expansion Possibility
The 2016 meeting of the South Dakota Legislature may end up being the resurrection session. Declared nearly dead early this week by a powerful lawmaker, Gov. Dennis Daugaard's proposed Medicaid expansion is at least breathing as of Friday, and Daugaard may declare it fully recovered when he speaks on Monday. The remedy came on Friday, when the state received official notice that the federal government would start reimbursing at 100 percent for services to Indian Health Service patients who are sent to receive additional care through non-IHS facilities. (Mercer, 2/27)

Sioux Falls (S.D.) Argus-Leader: Feds Change Policy, Clear Way For Daugaard's Medicaid Proposal
Gov. Dennis Daugaard could bring the South Dakota Legislature his proposal to expand Medicaid on Monday as a federal health agency announced it would provide an essential piece of the puzzle. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a letter to state health officials Friday alerting them to the agency's decision to change its interpretation of a policy on funding American Indian health care, and will now cover 100 percent of care at facilities indirectly linked to the Indian Health System (IHS). (Ferguson, 2/26)

The Associated Press: Proposed Medicaid Plan Turns Arkansas GOP Against Itself In Primaries
Four years after Republicans commandeered Arkansas' Legislature by campaigning against the federal healthcare overhaul, similar attacks are being aimed inward in several GOP primaries that could play a role in determining whether thousands will remain covered under a key part of that law. Tuesday's legislative primaries will be the first major test of Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson's plan to keep the state's first-in-the-nation hybrid Medicaid expansion. Hutchinson and fellow Republicans who previously supported the expansion are coming under fire from rivals and conservative groups painting them as supporters of the law often derided as "Obamacare." (DeMillo, 2/27)

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