KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Official Predicts Consequences For Ala. Medicaid If Voters Don’t OK Emergency Funds

The Associated Press reports that the official running Alabama's Medicaid program finances says if voters there don't approve funding the program with more than $437 million from the state's trust fund, the resulting large cuts could jeopardize medical care for the poor.

The Associated Press: Health Official Predicts Problems If AL Vote Fails
The man who is temporarily overseeing funding for Alabama's health care program for the poor says Medicaid will be in deep trouble if voters do not approve a Sept. 18 referendum to take more than $437 million from a state trust fund and use it to prevent huge cuts in spending on state programs for three years (Johnson, 8/26).

In the meantime, local Texas officials are considering whether to circumvent Gov. Rick Perry's opposition to expanding Medicaid by expanding it in their own large counties.

The Washington Post: Texas Counties Consider Going It Alone On Medicaid Expansion
Local officials in Texas are discussing whether to band together to expand Medicaid coverage in some of the state's biggest counties, making an end run around Gov. Rick Perry’s opposition to the expanded program included in President Obama's health care law (Aizenman, 8/26).

And New York and New Hampshire deal with their own Medicaid issues -- overpayments and a planned change to managed care.

The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: NY Auditors Note Medicaid Overpayments
New York auditors note partial steps have been taken by the state Health Department to stem improper Medicaid payments to managed care plans and providers on behalf of patients with duplicate or multiple identification numbers (8/26).

The Boston Globe: Medicaid Yet To OK N.H. Plan
Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan has named its new arm to the north. The Medicaid plan will operate in New Hampshire as Well Sense Health Plan, one of three insurers selected by health officials in that state to manage coverage for low-income and disabled residents. The program is supposed to begin enrolling people in January, but the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have not given approval for federal money to be used for managed care in New Hampshire. It is not clear when the agency will decide (Conaboy, 8/27).

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