State Highlights: Gubernatorial Election Outcomes Will Have Big Impact On Health Law’s Future
A selection of health policy stories from Virginia, Wisconsin, Kansas, California, Arkansas and New Jersey.
The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Democrat McAuliffe Sees Senate Toss-Up, Governor Gains
The deciding factor in the Senate races will be President Barack Obama’s sagging approval numbers, he said, which are weighing down Democrats like Sen. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana and Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas. ... Mr. McAuliffe pushed Virginia legislators to expand the state’s Medicaid program as part of the Affordable Care Act last summer, but Republicans wouldn’t have it (Bauerlein, 10/8).
The Associated Press: Democrat Promises To Undo Kansas Medicaid Change
Democratic challenger Paul Davis on Wednesday proposed reversing part of Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's overhaul of the Kansas Medicaid program, appealing to vocal advocates for the disabled in a political race that remains a toss-up. Davis said during a Statehouse news conference that if he defeats Brownback, he'll end three private health insurance companies' oversight of in-home support services for about 8,500 developmentally disabled Kansans. The firms' oversight is part of the insurers' management of the state's $3 billion-a-year Medicaid program, which covers medical and in-home services for the poor and disabled (Hanna, 10/8).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Planned Parenthood Slams Walker Over Abortion Ad
A group providing abortions and birth control Wednesday sharply criticized Gov. Scott Walker for his actions to regulate their clinics and for an ad in which he called ending a pregnancy an "agonizing" decision. In a conference call organized by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, Doug Laube, a longtime gynecologist in the state, took issue with an ad in which Walker said that he supported a law "to increase safety and to provide more information for a woman considering her options." In July 2013, Walker approved a law requiring women seeking abortions to get ultrasounds and mandating that doctors have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where they perform abortions (Stein, 10/8).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/Politifact: Dueling TV Ads Take On Scott Walker's Position On Abortion
A group supporting abortion rights injected abortion into the Wisconsin governor’s race Oct. 6, 2014, less than a month before election day. And Gov. Scott Walker responded the same day with a television ad of his own. By reviewing past fact-checks and articles we’ve done, we will try flesh out two central points made in both ads: Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s position on abortion and a law he signed that requires women seeking an abortion to get an ultrasound (Kertscher, 10/8).
Los Angeles Times: Health Agency Moving To Skid Row To Aid Homeless
A Los Angeles County health agency is moving its headquarters and medical clinic into the heart of skid row in what experts said could become a national model for curbing homelessness. The $18-million Housing for Health program aims to get 10,000 of the county's sickest, most vulnerable people off the streets and into permanent housing (Holland, 10/8).
The Wall Street Journal: Union Protests Trump Entertainment’s Bid To Cut Worker Benefits
The union for some 1,140 workers at Atlantic City, N.J.’s Trump Taj Mahal casino who are rallying to save their health-care and pension benefits are now fighting in two places: in the courtroom and on the streets. Several hundred protesters plan to block a major traffic intersection near the Atlantic City Expressway on Wednesday evening to draw attention to pressure that workers who are unionized through Unite Here Local 54 face, said union spokesman Ben Begleiter (Stech, 10/8).
The Associated Press: AG Warning Residents Of Medicare Enrollment Scams
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is warning Arkansas consumers who are eligible for Medicare to stay alert for possible scams during open enrollment. Medicare open enrollment begins Oct. 15. During that time, senior citizens 65 and older have the option to review their current plans and make whatever changes they choose. McDaniel says consumers shouldn't provide personal information or account numbers in response to unsolicited calls or email and to be wary of callers who claim to be from a hospital, doctor's office, or state and local health agency (10/9).
California Healthline: State Files Autism Benefit Plan To CMS
Last week, California health officials submitted a state plan amendment to federal officials, outlining some of the rules dealing with autism therapy as a Medi-Cal benefit. The submission by the Department of Health Care Services allows the state to get federal matching funds retroactive to July 7 -- the day federal guidance clearly established the benefit -- for beneficiaries, plans and providers who could be reimbursed for autism therapy care retroactive to that date (Gorn, 10/8).