Latest Morning Briefing Stories

In Political Reversal, Wisconsin Governor Campaigns On Plan To Prop Up Health Law

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Gov. Scott Walker, once an ardent opponent to the Affordable Care Act, is now touting his reinsurance plan that would help stabilize the marketplace for the state. In a politically charged year where health care is front of mind, experts see it as a smart move to position himself well for the elections. Meanwhile, Democrats are pushing for more information on Idaho’s move to allow plans that doesn’t meet the ACA’s rules.

Trump Eases Limits On Short-Term Plans That Critics Call ‘Junk Insurance’ In Latest Blow To Health Law

KHN Morning Briefing

Short-term policies are intended for people who are between jobs, and are generally cheaper than insurance that meets the law’s requirements. But they offer significantly less protection to consumers. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said people buying these plans could be “one diagnosis away from disaster, discovering they have been paying for coverage that may not cover basic care such as cancer treatment.”

As Midterms Inch Closer, Republican Lawmakers Start To Take Softer Stance On Health Law

KHN Morning Briefing

Some of those who adamantly opposed any action to shore up the marketplaces have reversed course in a politically charged year. Meanwhile, a new analysis by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services actuaries shows that with the repeal of the individual mandate 37.7 million people will be uninsured by 2026.

Virginia Lawmakers Lay Groundwork For Medicaid Expansion With Work Requirements Vote

KHN Morning Briefing

The Virginia House of Delegates voted to impose work requirements on the state’s existing Medicaid recipients, with exceptions for the elderly, children, pregnant women and others who are not deemed “able bodied” as part of a compromise to expand the program. The bill goes to the Senate next, which so far has not indicated if it would accept it. Meanwhile, Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich is also preparing to ask federal regulators for a work requirements waiver for the state’s Medicaid program.

Bernie Sanders Lambastes OMB Director Mick Mulvaney Over Health Provisions In Trump’s Budget Plan

KHN Morning Briefing

“Director [Mick] Mulvaney, tell me about the morality of a budget which supports tax breaks for billionaires, throws 32 million people off of the health insurance they have, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of fellow Americans,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Meanwhile, the Office of Management and Budget chief caused confusion when he hinted at the same hearing that he wouldn’t vote for President Donald Trump’s budget if he were in Congress.

Iowa Lawmaker Introduces Medicaid Work Requirement Bill

KHN Morning Briefing

The Trump administration is encouraging states to pursue such requirements, though critics of a work mandate say most adults on Medicaid already work or are too disabled or sick to do so.

Indiana Becomes Second State To Win Approval For Medicaid Work Requirements

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The decision comes just weeks after the Trump administration issued guidelines allowing states to impose the first-ever employment-based restrictions in the Medicaid program’s 53-year history. Kentucky was the first state to receive approval for a work mandate. That plan is already under legal challenge.

Kentuckians Scared Of Medicaid Rules: ‘If People Could Work Their Way Out Of Poverty, They Would Have Already’

KHN Morning Briefing

While Gov. Matt Bevin (R) is enthusiastic about his proposal to add work requirements to his state’s Medicaid program, residents relying on it are worried. “People need their Medicaid,” says Lakin Bran­ham, who relies on the program to pay for drug counseling every other week. Outlets report on news about the requirements from Alabama, Ohio and Louisiana, as well.

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.