KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Feds Give South Dakota’s Partial Medicaid Expansion Plan A Thumbs Down; Utah May Need A Special Session

News outlets report on these and other state efforts to address issues related to expanding the state-federal health insurance program for low-income people.

The Washington Post: Four States Maneuver On Medicaid Expansion
Faced with the prospect of tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, in federal funding, states are racing to find politically palatable ways to expand Medicaid. Here are the four states moving this week toward — or in one case away from — expanding Medicaid to cover those earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line (Wilson, 3/4).

Sioux City Argus Leader: Feds Reject Daugaard's Partial Medicaid Plan
Republican leaders in South Dakota had hope Monday that the U.S. government would let them cover only half the people federal law calls on South Dakota to add to Medicaid. On Tuesday, that hope was quashed. In a conference call late Tuesday afternoon involving legislative leaders from both parties and federal Medicaid chief Cindy Mann, South Dakota officials were told their request for a partial Medicaid expansion would not be allowed (Montgomery, 3/5). 

Salt Lake Tribune: Will Utah’s Lawmakers Take Action On Medicaid This Session?
With time running out in the 2014 session, Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund says it is likely that the Legislature will not act on Medicaid expansion or any of the various health reform proposals on the table. "It’s definitely getting less and less likely as we get closer to the end of the session that [senators] end up taking a firm position," Okerlund, R-Monroe, said in an interview (Gerhke, 3/4). 

Deseret News: Governor Says Special Session May Be Needed On Medicaid Expansion
After pitching his plan personally to GOP lawmakers Tuesday, Gov. Gary Herbert said the details of how Medicaid expansion money would be used may have to be sorted out in a special session of the Legislature. But the governor said he expects "clear direction" before the 2014 Legislature ends March 13 to start negotiations about how the state can use what he says is $258 million available under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare (Riley Roche, 3/4). 

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