Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Investigation Of Iowa Medicaid Program Finds After Denial Of Care, Enrollees Face Endless Appeals

KHN Morning Briefing

The Des Moines Register reviews 200 cases appealed to Iowa administrative law judges by Medicaid recipients who say they have been unfairly denied medical care since the state turned over management of the $4.8 billion program to for-profit companies in April 2016. In other Medicaid news, an effort by a Virginia lawmaker to get a rural hospital reopened fails after it gets snarled in the bitter fight over Medicaid expansion, Republican lawmakers in Kansas raise some objections to Gov. Sam Brownback’s plans and other developments around the country.

With Individual Mandate Scrapped, Employers Say ‘It’s Our Turn’

KHN Morning Briefing

Employers have long-chafed at what they see as the onerous rules that came with the Affordable Care Act. But now that Congress has killed the individual mandate, employers say that their requirements should be the next to go. In other news: Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) says he expects bipartisan legislation aimed at stabilizing the marketplace to pass in the coming months; the Trump administration could approve short-term insurance plans soon; and a look at the health law and enrollment in the states.

New Va. Governor Renews Democrats’ Push For Medicaid Expansion

KHN Morning Briefing

Gov. Ralph Northam set an agenda that includes Medicaid expansion, gun control legislation and protections for abortion rights, but Republican lawmakers showed no signs of compromise. News outlets report on other Medicaid news from Oregon, Iowa and Illinois.

Lawsuit Brewing As Kentucky Becomes First State To Get Approval To Impose Medicaid Work Requirements

KHN Morning Briefing

In one of the biggest changes to the Medicaid program in its history, the Trump administration last week announced that it would allow states to seek new requirements from beneficiaries. Kentucky is now the first state to do so, but advocates are already threatening a lawsuit over the new guidelines. Media outlets offer closer looks at Kentucky’s decision, the legal battle that will inevitably follow, who will be affected by the change, the political risk Republicans are taking, and more.

Methadone Clinics Become ‘Liquid Handcuffs’ For Those Who Can’t Afford Pricier Treatment Programs

KHN Morning Briefing

Although the opioid crisis hasn’t discriminated based on race or economic class, the treatment for it does. In other news on the epidemic: studies show the benefits of safe injection sites, a judge overseeing hundreds of lawsuits against drugmakers wants all sides to start talking to each other, the FDA warns against giving kids certain cough medicine, and more.

6-Year CHIP Extension Looks Likely After CBO Numbers Show ‘It May Have No Cost’

KHN Morning Briefing

The funding has been held up in Congress because of disputes over how to pay for the program. But those arguments might be moot now that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that extending funding would save the government $6 billion over a decade because providing coverage through CHIP is more cost effective than other government-funded coverage, such as Medicaid or subsidized marketplace coverage. Meanwhile, doctors and families take steps to protect against a further-protracted funding lag.

Legal Challenge To Medicaid Work Requirements Already Brewing, But CMS Says Law Is On Its Side

KHN Morning Briefing

Critics of the new guidelines that will allow states to impose the requirements on some of their Medicaid enrollees say the policy is a contradiction of the purpose of Medicaid, and thus needs an act of Congress to change it. But CMS Administrator Seema Verma says she thinks the agency acted well within its rights. Meanwhile, outlets offer a look on where state leaders stand on the issue.