Poor families fear they are forgotten in Medicaid expansion debate

Published on August 16, 2012 at 6:10 AM · No Comments

The Associated Press looks at the dilemma for many poor people who had expected to get health coverage under the 2010 federal law.

The Associated Press/Denver Post: Anti-Medicaid States: Earning $11,000 Is Too Much
Sandra Pico (of Miami) is poor, but not poor enough. She makes about $15,000 a year, supporting her daughter and unemployed husband. She thought she'd be able to get health insurance after the Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama's health care law. Many working parents like Pico are below the federal poverty line but don't qualify for Medicaid, a decades-old state-federal insurance program. That's especially true in states where conservative governors say they'll reject the Medicaid expansion under Obama's health law (Johnson and Kennedy, 8/14).

Fox News Latino: Latinos Fall Through The Cracks In Anti-Medicaid States
In South Carolina, a yearly income of $16,900 is too much for Medicaid for a family of three. In Florida, $11,000 a year is too much. In Mississippi, $8,200 a year is too much. In Louisiana and Texas, earning more than just $5,000 a year makes you ineligible for Medicaid. Governors in those five states have said they'll reject the Medicaid expansion underpinning Obama's health law after the Supreme Court's decision gave states that option. Many of those hurt by the decision are working parents who are poor -- but not poor enough -- to qualify for Medicaid. Republican Mitt Romney's new running mate, conservative Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, has a budget plan that would turn Medicaid over to the states and sharply limit federal dollars (8/14).

CQ HealthBeat: Hash, Mann Offer Guidance On CMS Coverage Expansion Efforts Under Health Care Law
State officials will have to plunge deep into the weeds to find the path to create their own insurance exchanges and to expand Medicaid under the health care law. On Tuesday, the two federal health officials best suited to guiding them appeared publicly and answered numerous questions about how to proceed. Michael Hash, who heads Health and Human Services' exchange effort, provided a new layer of detail about the federal effort to ensure access to the new marketplaces. Cindy Mann, who runs the Medicaid expansion at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), outlined factors states should consider in deciding whether and when to expand the health program for the poor (Reichard, 8/14).

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