Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Guidance To Allow States To Request Block Grant Waivers For Medicaid Programs Expected Soon

KHN Morning Briefing

Approving state waivers to change Medicaid funding to block grants would be among the Trump administration’s most controversial moves to reshape Medicaid. While supporters of block granting say it gives states more flexibility, critics warn that it creates incentives for states to cut aid for its most vulnerable populations. Meanwhile, Medicaid expansion advocates are frustrated by the last remaining red-state holdouts.

An Unlikely Coalition Of Conservatives Comes Together To Urge North Carolina To Expand Medicaid

KHN Morning Briefing

A group of business leaders, law enforcement and county officials, all of whom identified themselves as conservative or Republican, say the state has been missing out on an opportunity to help people. While elsewhere red states are starting to be won over to the promises of expansion, in North Carolina opposition remains. Medicaid news comes out of Florida and Kansas as well.

Trump Administration Working On Plan To Tighten Eligibility Requirements For Disability Benefits With Focus On Age

KHN Morning Briefing

The Trump administration says the plan aims at addressing changing social factors, such as the fact that people are living longer in better health and fewer people are engaged in physically draining jobs like coal mining. And new technology allows those with disabilities to work in ways that weren’t available in the past. Other news on the Trump administration’s policies focuses on food stamps and Medicaid eligibility.

Local Officials Across Country Push Back Against Federal Policy Barring Pre-Trial Inmates From Medicaid Benefits

KHN Morning Briefing

“Just because you’ve been in jail for a short period of time, that shouldn’t automatically knock you off the [Medicaid] rolls,” said David Davis, the Democratic sheriff of Bibb County, Georgia. “You then have to go through enrollment all over again.” The disruption in enrollment can often negatively effect an already vulnerable population of people. Other Medicaid news comes from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Georgia, California and the South.

HHS Taps Entrepreneur Brad Smith To Lead CMS Innovation Center

KHN Morning Briefing

The position leading the agency’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation largely focuses on driving value-based care transformation across the country, Brad Smith says. CMS Administrator Seema Verma praised Smith as an “outside-the-box” thinker who will “help us build on the important work the Trump administration has undertaken to transform our healthcare system to deliver better value to patients.”

When The Cost For Care Is Too High Even For Those Who Have Coverage, Patients End Up Gambling With Their Health

KHN Morning Briefing

Getting coverage can be just the first hurdle when it comes to navigating the high costs in the health industry. Many patients are delaying or even skipping care completely because they can’t afford it. In other news on health care costs and the industry: uninsured children, Medicaid payments, Oscar Health, the senior care-home industry, another Johnson & Johnson lawsuit, and more.

Culture Wars Over Transgender Rights, Abortion, Safe-Injection Sites To Dominate 2020 State Legislative Sessions

KHN Morning Briefing

The state battles that experts expect to see in 2020 reflect a deepening cultural divide within the country over how to address public health issues. Republicans still control a majority of state capitals, but Democrats have made gains in recent years. The dynamic could set off some fireworks in the coming year. Meanwhile, hospitals are fighting state-level laws to rein in health care costs, foreshadowing issues that might come in any federal push to do the same.