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Thousands of people were dropped from Arkansas’ Medicaid rolls after failing to report new required work hours, but advocates say that’s because people don’t realize they have to. The federal government invested millions into getting the word out about the health law, and still it took years for people to understand what it was. States have far fewer resources and time.
Funds for the Children’s Health Insurance Program are technically outside the jurisdiction of the Appropriations Committees and don’t count against annual discretionary caps, and the pool of “contingency money” dedicated to the program has been tapped sparingly. Medicaid news comes out of Alabama and Maine, as well.
Medicaid drug spending doubled in five years in Massachusetts. The state wanted to exclude expensive drugs that weren’t proven to work better than existing alternatives from its Medicaid plan, but the federal government blocked the effort.
Due to a court order, Gov. Paul LePage requested approval last month to expand Medicaid in Maine. But the governor also wrote a letter to the administration urging officials to reject his application. Meanwhile, support for a program that helps people with disabilities move out of nursing homes gains support. Medicaid news comes out of Iowa, as well.
A clinic in El Cajon, Calif., treats patients recovering from anything from gunshot wounds to PTSD and anxiety about family left behind.
The National Quality Forum wants CMS to adopt measures that include patient experience ratings; the rate of catheter-associated urinary tract infections; and alcohol use screening.
While governor, Phil Bredesen (D-Tenn.) faced a budget that advisers said was the toughest they’d seen in their careers. In a new campaign ad, Bredesen says he “saved TennCare,” but those fixes came at a cost and proved controversial for many at the time. Bredesen is running for the Senate against Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) Medicaid news comes out Iowa and Michigan, as well.
Members of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission say Arkansas should press pause on the state’s new work requirements until officials figure out why people aren’t responding to them. Medicaid news comes out of California, as well.
Opinion writers express views on a variety of health topics.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.) said, “I don’t like that number,” but still touted the benefits of the new work requirements. Arkansas is the first state to drop Medicaid beneficiaries because of the rules, which are gaining traction in red states. Thousands more Arkansans will be at risk of losing their benefits next month if they have not complied with the requirements.
“I don’t know why the Legislature refuses to acknowledge that Medicaid is not free,” Republican Gov. Paul LePage said. Advocates have been encouraging residents to apply for benefits, but LePage is remaining staunchly against the expansion. Medicaid news comes out of Nevada and Iowa, as well.
If the Trump administration doesn’t approve the program, Michigan will end its expansion of Medicaid, which currently covers 655,000 individuals. Meanwhile, two new studies raise doubts about the rationale behind the requirements because the vast majority of beneficiaries already work or would be exempt for other reasons.
A movement to get Medicaid expansion on the ballot in states like Utah, Idaho and Nebraska has been gaining speed in recent years, and supporters are cautiously optimistic about their chances.
Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson stood firm in the face of criticism from advocates who say the requirements aren’t incentivizing work but rather just adding hurdles to get government aid. “We will continue to do everything we can to ensure those who qualify for the program keep their coverage,” Hutchinson said, “but we will also make sure those who no longer qualify are removed.” Medicaid news comes out of Kentucky, Idaho and Massachusetts, as well.
“The expansion population is an optional population,” Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Adam Meier told a panel of state lawmakers when they asked what could be done. Medicaid news comes out of Iowa, Oregon and Kansas, as well.
Editorial pages focus on issues surrounding Medicaid and Medicare-For-All.
Nebraska is one of several red states that is home to a push to get Medicaid expansion in front of voters, circumventing lawmakers. Meanwhile, South Dakota is asking officials to approve work requirements, while Kentucky residents weigh in on their own state’s proposed changes.
An official determines that there are enough valid signatures to add the measure to November’s ballot, but a judge is currently weighing a lawsuit that argues the proposal violates the Nebraska Constitution by including more than one subject: broadening eligibility for the state-federal health care program and asking state officials to seek federal approval of the expansion. Medicaid news comes out of Iowa and Oregon, as well.
The idea would be to allow people who earn too much to qualify for expanded Medicaid to buy a Medicaid managed-care plan instead of commercial coverage. But even that proposal has hospitals balking.
Republican Gov. Paul LePage has been blocking the expansion for months, adamant that state lawmakers must come up with a way to fund the program. Advocacy groups sued the governor over the delay.