KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Texas, Calif. Grapple With Medicaid Challenges

News outlets look at Medicaid issues in two of the largest states.

The Wall Street Journal: As GOP Eyes Turn To Texas, Perry Hits Snag
Gov. Rick Perry was expected to begin weighing a Republican presidential bid this week but instead found himself enmeshed again in the battle over the state budget. Political watchers here will scrutinize the governor's special-session agenda for clues to his national intentions. So far, besides the budget, it includes a long-term overhaul of Medicaid and redrawing congressional districts (Eaton, 6/1).

The Texas Tribune: Day One, 1st Called Session Of The 82nd Legislature
[Gov. Rick] Perry and legislative leaders hope to move through a series of bills quickly during the special session that begins today. ... The governor will start lawmakers off with budget measures, asking them to cut $4 billion from what they owe schools ... and to approve legislation designed to cut costs in the federal Medicaid programs managed by the state (Grissom, Ramsey, Ramshaw, Smith, Aguilar, Tan, 5/31).

Dallas Morning News: Health Care Bills Mean Lawmakers Will Debate Medicaid, Medicare
Legislation introduced Tuesday guarantees that lawmakers will debate major changes to Texans' health care during their special session. At least seven health care bills were filed, including a comprehensive measure that would try to induce insurers, employers and Texas Medicaid to pay for quality, not just how many tests and procedures are performed on a patient. The bill by Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, also would shift more of the state's 3.5 million Medicaid patients into managed-care plans. (Slater, 05/31)

KQED: Medi-Cal Moving to Managed Care Model
As of June 1, hundreds of thousands of disabled Medi-Cal recipients will start to move into managed care health plans. Instead of paying for every doctor or hospital visit as it does now, the state pays insurers a set fee to meet the patient's medical needs. State health officials see managed care as a cheaper and more efficient way to run the program, and some for-profit insurance companies see good business (Varney, 5/31). 

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