KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

S.D., N.M. Governors Take Opposing Tacks On Medicaid Expansion

Meanwhile, a key Georgia Republican lays out her party's reasons for opposing expansion, while California releases its cost estimate. Also in the news, Ohio and the Obama administration clash over high-risk pool eligibility, while Utah's exchange appears to be in limbo.

The Associated Press: SD Governor Against Quick Medicaid Expansion Because Of Uncertainty Of Federal Funding
Gov. Dennis Daugaard decided against expanding Medicaid to cover thousands of additional low-income South Dakotans because he's uncertain the federal government can afford to pay the bulk of the cost, a state official told lawmakers Thursday. Deb Bowman, a senior adviser to the Republican governor, said Daugaard has decided against recommending an expansion of Medicaid for now, but the governor and lawmakers could decide to make that move later (Brokaw, 1/10).

The Associated Press: NM Governor Announces Plan To Expand Medicaid
New Mexico, a state that hovers near the top of national poverty and uninsured rankings, plans to follow provisions of a federal health care law to expand Medicaid to potentially provide medical services to 170,000 low-income adults, Republican Gov. Susana Martinez announced Wednesday. New Mexico will join at least 15 other states and the District of Columbia in broadening eligibility for the health care program under terms of a health care overhaul championed by President Barack Obama (Massey and Bryan, 1/10).

Georgia Health News: Medicaid Expansion: A Danger Or A Blessing?
Too much expense. Too few doctors. Too little trust in the feds. State Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta), who chairs the House Health and Human Services Committee, laid out her party's arguments Thursday against Georgia expanding its Medicaid program, as outlined by the health reform law (Miller, 1/10).

The Hill: Calif. Governor Says Medicaid Expansion Will Cost $350 Million
Participating in the Medicaid expansion in President Obama's signature healthcare law will cost California about $350 million, according to the budget Gov. Jerry Brown (D) released Thursday. The costs to the state come mostly from people who are eligible for the program now but not enrolled, and are expected to join once the high-profile expansion takes effect (Baker, 1/10).

Politico: Feds, Ohio Clash Over High-Risk Pool Eligibility
The Obama administration and Ohio's insurance regulator are locked in a fight over whether to dump people from the health insurance pool for some of the state's sickest residents — and they're not taking the sides you'd expect. In fact, it's the overseers of Obamacare who want to cut off health insurance for 14 people — and it's the state of Ohio that wants to keep them covered (Millman, 1/11).

Stateline: Utah's Health Insurance Exchange In Limbo
Since the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010, states have known they would have a choice about whether to run their own health insurance exchanges or let the federal government do it for them. But with only eight months left before those online marketplaces are expected to open to the public, Utah hasn’t made up its mind. Utah is one of several Republican-led states weighing an eleventh-hour decision about whether to set up a state-run exchange. But it is a special case because it is one of only two states, the other being Massachusetts, that already has a functioning insurance exchange. In both states, the exchange was the brainchild of a Republican governor eager to promote free market competition. But once the concept became integral to the success of President Obama's federal health law, Utah and many other Republican-dominated states resisted it (Vestal, 1/11).

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