Va. GOP Lawmakers Detail Strategy To Counter Efforts To Expand Medicaid
Republicans in the state House announce that they've retained former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, who produced a report saying the governor does not have the authority in Virginia to expand Medicaid without legislative approval.
The Associated Press: Va. House GOP Lays Out Medicaid Legal Strategy
Virginia House Republicans have retained a former U.S. solicitor general in preparation for a potential legal showdown with Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe over the governor’s ability to expand Medicaid eligibility. House Speaker William J. Howell and other Republican leaders announced Wednesday they’d retained Paul Clement, who was solicitor general to former President George W. Bush and has frequently argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court (Suderman, 6/25).
The Washington Post: In Virginia, Medicaid Expansion Fight Escalates
[Gov. Terry] McAuliffe is pushing ahead with plans to defy the GOP-led General Assembly and expand the health-care program for the poor under the Affordable Care Act. Republicans are determined to block him. On Wednesday, the fight escalated again: House Republicans announced that one of the nation's most prominent lawyers had found that the governor lacked the authority to expand the program unilaterally. Former U.S. solicitor general Paul D. Clement said on a conference call with reporters that McAuliffe does not have that power in a state where all spending, even pass-through money from Washington, must be appropriated by the General Assembly (Vozzella and Portnoy, 6/25).
The Richmond Times-Dispatch: Howell Hires Former Bush Solicitor General In Medicaid Fight
Howell and other House Republican leaders held a news conference call Wednesday with former Solicitor General Paul D. Clement, who presented a legal analysis that concludes the governor has no power to bypass the General Assembly in appropriating federal funds to expand eligibility for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The House paid Clement $25,000 from a fund controlled by the House Clerk’s Office to retain his law firm for the analysis and potentially legal action to prevent McAuliffe from expanding health coverage without General Assembly approval (Martz, 6/25).
In Utah, the state administration is taking efforts to provide more coverage to low-income residents while trying to persuade the legislature to expand Medicaid.
Salt Lake Tribune: SL County Shuffles Money To Cover Medicaid Hole
Salt Lake County officials have come up with a plan to stretch their human-services programs until, they hope, Utah legislators accept some form of Medicaid expansion. It won't come without some human pain, however. About 3,200 recipients of substance abuse and mental health services will have their treatments trimmed back over the last half of 2014. That service reduction will free up about $750,000, which the county can use as a match to acquire about $2.4 million in Medicaid funding from the federal government. Those funds will underwrite numerous Human Services programs, most notably one that provides nutritional assistance to low-income women and their children, through July 1, 2015 (Gorrell, 6/25).
And in state enrollment news -
The Associated Press: 960K NYers Sign For Insurance Under New Health Law
More than 960,000 New York residents signed up for insurance under the state's new health plan marketplace during its first enrollment period, according to a state report issued Wednesday. The analysis shows that 55 percent of the individuals enrolled in Medicaid and 38 percent — or 371,000 people — signed up for private insurances on the marketplace. About three quarters of them received some level of financial assistance (6/25).
Detroit Free Press: Some Hikes, Some Cuts Sought In 2015 Michigan Health Insurance Rates
There could be some sticker shock, but some welcomed price cuts as well, when consumers go shopping for insurance this fall on the Michigan Health Insurance Marketplace, according to numbers the state released earlier today. Overall, it appears that Michigan’s proposed average rate increase of just 2.2% is modest compared to changes in some other states, according to an ongoing analysis by consultant PricewaterhouseCoopers that so far has compared insurance pricing on more than a dozen state marketplaces (Erb, 6/25).