KHN Morning Briefing

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State Legislatures Brace For Medicaid Expansion Measures

In Alaska, early legislation includes a bill to curb the governor's ability to accept the additional federal funding. Meanwhile, in Virginia, the Medicaid expansion debate is among the issues observers expect will trigger fireworks in the state capitol.

The Associated Press: Medicaid Bills In First Batch Of Early Filed Legislation
Bills related to Medicaid and the governor's power to accept additional federal money for a budget item are included in the first batch of measures filed ahead of the upcoming legislative session. They follow Gov. Bill Walker's actions last year to expand Medicaid to provide health care coverage to more lower-income Alaskans after legislators tabled the issue for further review. ... Legislation proposed by Rep. Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage, would provide a way for lawmakers to restrict that ability with budget language. (Bohrer, 1/9)

The Washington Post: Va. Lawmakers, McAuliffe Poised For Fight And Compromise This Session
Take one governor bent on furthering his liberal policies. Add a Republican-controlled legislature determined to stop him. It’s a recipe for partisan fireworks that will heat up Mr. Jefferson’s Capitol when the General Assembly reconvenes Wednesday. But amid expected fights over Medicaid, gun control and climate change, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and Republican lawmakers are showing signs that they will try something new: compromise. ... But the session is expected to bring its share of partisan tension, as well. The No. 1 issue both parties have tangled over is Medicaid expansion. For the third straight year, McAuliffe called on lawmakers to cover 400,000 uninsured Virginians under the Affordable Care Act. ... This time [McAuliffe is] trying something new. (Portnoy, 1/9)

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