KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

State Policies, Positions On Medicaid Expansion Continue To Take Shape

Some state health exchange plans also appear to be moving forward as specifics emerge.

Reuters: North Carolina's Medicaid Program Too Troubled To Expand: Governor
North Carolina will not expand Medicaid coverage under President Barack Obama's signature health care reform law and will play no role in setting up the required health insurance exchange, Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, said on Tuesday (Lambert, 2/13).

The Hill: North Carolina Rejects Medicaid Expansion, Partnership Exchange
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) made clear Tuesday that he doesn't want any part of the coverage expansion under President Obama's signature health care law. McCrory rejected the law's Medicaid expansion and said he doesn't want to work with the federal government to retain some control over his state's insurance exchange. He'll cede that power entirely to the Obama administration (Baker, 2/12).

The Associated Press: Medicaid Expansion Profitable For State
A study released Monday by the Indiana Hospital Association estimates that expanding Medicaid would generate billions of dollars in economic growth for the state, a stark contrast from the budget-busting projections cited by former Gov. Mitch Daniels. The hospital association's study estimates that using the federal expansion to cover an additional 406,000 residents would cost Indiana $503 million but pump several times that amount back into the economy over the next seven years (LoBianco, 2/13).

The Associated Press: Walker Hints At Middle Ground In Medicaid Growth
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has watched quietly in recent days as a handful of other Republican governors decided to accept billions of dollars from the U.S. government to expand Medicaid as part of the federal health care overhaul. Walker planned to reveal Wednesday whether he will go along with those six GOP governors, stick with 11 others who have rejected the expansion, or chart his own course somewhere in the middle. He was to announce his plans in a speech about entitlement reform before the state's chamber of commerce (Bauer, 2/12).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Scott Walker To Back Limited But Not Full Expansion Of BadgerCare
Gov. Scott Walker will not pursue a full expansion of the state's BadgerCare program as foreseen under the federal health care law, seeking instead a more limited expansion of coverage. A source familiar with the proposal confirmed some of the broad outlines of the proposal on Medicaid health programs that Walker is expected to make at an event Wednesday afternoon in Madison. The decision will have far-ranging effects on whether and how tens of thousands of Wisconsinites receive health coverage, whether state taxpayers will have to cover tens of millions of dollars of that cost, and how much the state will receive in the coming years out of the billions of dollars in possible federal money to assist the expansion (Stein and Marley, 2/12).

The Associated Press: Missouri Senators Cite Credit Rating As Reason Not To Expand Medicaid
Gov. Jay Nixon's plan to expand Medicaid health care coverage in Missouri has encountered a new wrinkle of opposition from some lawmakers. Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee raised concerns on Monday that the Medicaid expansion could hurt the state's credit rating (2/12).

The Associated Press: Ohio's Treasurer Bucks GOP Governor On Medicaid
A fellow Republican state official is bucking Gov. John Kasich's proposed expansion of Medicaid, urging GOP lawmakers to reject the plan for the sake of the state's bottom line. In a letter sent Monday, Treasurer Josh Mandel urged legislative leaders to oppose Kasich's decision, which was incorporated into the $63.2 billion, two-year budget the governor released last week (Smyth, 2/12).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Brown to Testify On Measure To Expand Medicaid And Create Funding Stream For Maryland Exchange 
Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown will be outlining the latest steps in Maryland to implement federal health care reform. Brown is scheduled to testify Wednesday on legislation before a House panel and a Senate committee (2/13).

Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Health Exchange Will Tap Brokers But Won't Pay Them
Health insurance brokers will get referrals and be able to sell plans to individual and business clients of Colorado's new health exchange. But they won't earn money directly from the exchange and won't have to abide by a strict conflict of interest policy that Colorado’s exchange board passed Monday to govern new "health guides." Instead, insurance companies will continue to pay commissions to brokers as they currently do. And Colorado's Division of Insurance will continue to license and monitor brokers (Kerwin McCrimmon, 2/12).

The Associated Press: New Mexico House Panel Oks Health Exchange Plan
Democratic lawmakers pushed ahead Tuesday with a proposal to establish a state-run health insurance exchange, despite objections from the insurance industry and Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. The House Health, Government and Indian Affairs Committee approved the measure on a party-line vote, with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed (Massey, 2/12).

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