Latest Morning Briefing Stories

States That Expanded Medicaid Under Health Law Are Slower To Spend Opioid Grants, Investigation Finds

KHN Morning Briefing

In states that expanded Medicaid, the program already covers addiction treatment for nearly everyone who is poor and needs it, so they have to rely less heavily on extra opioid funding. In other news on the crisis: celebrities help fight addiction stigma; a look at a wildly successful Shanghai-based syndicate; why abuse-resistant opioid pills are failing to make strides on the market; and more.

In Tight Georgia Race, Stacey Abrams Reframes Medicaid Expansion As A Smart Business Move

KHN Morning Briefing

“Raise your hand if you would say no to someone who said, ‘Give me a dollar and I’ll give you $9 back,’” said Stacey Abrams, the Democrat in Georgia’s gubernatorial race. “It is economically false, a falsehood over all, to say we can’t afford to expand Medicaid.” The expansion would bring jobs to rural areas because it would save hospitals teetering on the brink of closure, she says. Abrams’ choice to focus on Medicaid expansion reflects a broader trend from Democrats on the trail who see health care as a winning issue.

‘A Long Time Coming’: After Years Of Strife, Virginia’s Medicaid Expansion To Kick Off In November

KHN Morning Briefing

The state’s General Assembly voted earlier this year to add up to 400,000 uninsured, low-income Virginians to the state’s Medicaid rolls after a deal was struck over work requirements. Republican resistance in the state has long stymied advocates’ efforts to expand the program. Meanwhile, other states that haven’t approved expansion yet might have to bend to the will of their voters if ballot measures pass.

Renewed Repeal Talk Puts GOP Leadership On Collision Course With Candidates Under Attack Over Health Law Stances

KHN Morning Briefing

In recent days, both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority whip and possible next speaker, have said that health law repeal may be revisited after the elections. Republicans on the trail, though, have been on the defense for months, scrambling to counter Democrats’ attack ads saying that the GOP wants to strip away protections for preexisting conditions. The dichotomy is causing tension within the party just a little over two weeks out from the midterms. Meanwhile, McConnell is defending the lawsuit that is at the heart of much of the rhetoric against the GOP candidates, saying, “It’s not secret that we preferred to start over.”

Georgia’s Gubernatorial Race Shines Light On Growing Political Force: Home Health Aides

KHN Morning Briefing

Georgia state Rep. Stacey Abrams (D) is locked in a tight race with Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, and members of The National Domestic Workers Alliance have been knocking on doors and pouring money into ad campaigns in support of the Democrat. News on the upcoming elections comes out of Alabama, Kansas, California and New Hampshire.

In Sign Of The Times, One Of Health Law’s Most Vocal Opponents Vows To Protect Preexisting Conditions Coverage

KHN Morning Briefing

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is in a high-profile race with Democrat Beto O’Rourke. For years he has called for a repeal of “every word” of the health law but now his tone has shifted, but in a reflection of the current political landscape and of many races across the country. Meanwhile, in a recent poll, health care comes in as the top issue for voters this year.

Another 4,100 Dropped From Arkansas’ Medicaid Rolls After Failing To Properly Report Work Hours

KHN Morning Briefing

And the report found that another 4,800 people are at risk at losing coverage if they don’t meet the work requirement by the end of this month. For critics of the requirements, it’s their worst fears realized. “This is an absolute train wreck, and it is a slow-moving train wreck that the state can stop at any time,” said Sam Brooke, deputy legal counsel for the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of three groups that had sued Arkansas over the mandate.

Wave Of GOP Ads Promising To Protect Preexisting Conditions Coverage Highlight Potency Of Campaign Issue On Midterms

KHN Morning Briefing

Democrats have been sounding warnings about the potential threat to preexisting conditions coverage on the trail for months. Now some Republicans are trying to get ahead of the issue through ads including family members with health problems. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump goes after Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare For All” plan.

‘Somebody Needs To Fix It’: As Each Party Locks In Health Care Rhetoric, Many Voters Just Want A Solution

KHN Morning Briefing

“It’s crippling people. It’s crippling me,” Pennsylvania voter Kaci Rickert says of health care costs. The topic has taken center stage in the weeks before the midterm elections, as Democrats focus on Republicans’ threat to popular health law provisions, such as preexisting conditions protections, while Republicans go after progressives’ “Medicare For All” plan. News on the races comes out of Iowa, Ohio, California and Minnesota.