Utah Gov. Assails Legislature’s Refusal To Take Up His Medicaid Expansion Plan
Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, says he will continue to press for his plan. Also in the news, efforts in Kansas to expand Medicaid and the controversy in Minnesota about the state marketplace.
The Associated Press:
Gov. Herbert Criticizes House Decision On Medicaid Plan
Gov. Gary Herbert sternly criticized the Utah House on Thursday for circumventing what he considers the proper legislative process and deciding not to consider his plan for expanding Medicaid. While calm and composed, Herbert didn't hide his displeasure with the House decision. He vowed to continue negotiating during the final two weeks of session— but didn't rule out calling for a special session later or taking executive action. (McCombs, 2/26)
Kansas Health Institute News Service:
Kansas House Leaders Reluctantly Agree To Medicaid Expansion Hearing
The odds that the Kansas Legislature will pass a Medicaid expansion bill this session remain long. But they improved Thursday, however slightly, when conservative Republican leaders agreed to allow a hearing on expansion to avoid an immediate vote on the House floor. Rep. Jim Ward, a Wichita Democrat, was attempting to amend his Medicaid expansion proposal into an unrelated bill. Uncertain as to how a vote might turn out, House leaders dropped their opposition to a hearing in exchange for Ward withdrawing his amendment. Rep. John Wilson, a Lawrence Democrat, said the tactical maneuver “disrupted the plan” that GOP leaders had to block any consideration of Medicaid expansion. (McLean, 2/26)
Minnesota Public Radio:
Bill To Make MNsure A State Agency Sparks Criticism
A MNsure board member took state lawmakers to task on Thursday for a proposal that would turn the state's online insurance exchange into a state agency. ... State Sen. Tony Lourey, DFL-Kerrick, has introduced legislation to create a stage agency, placing it in the governor's administration, a plan Gov. Mark Dayton supports. In a report earlier this month, Minnesota Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles was highly critical of MNsure and its leadership for bungling the launch of the health care website. (Zdechlik, 2/26)
Minnesota Public Radio:
Does MNsure Need Reform?
Lawmakers were proposing changes to MNsure even before a legislative auditor's report detailed failures in the 2013 roll-out of the state-run health insurance exchange. (2/26)