Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker defended his Medicaid policy and decision not to pursue the health law's expansion.
Modern Healthcare: Arkansas May Make Medicaid Enrollees Fund HSAs
Arkansas, the first state to establish the conservative private-plan model for expanding Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, now is looking to join several other conservative-leaning states in requiring low-income beneficiaries to make monthly contributions to their health coverage in the form of a health savings account. The state has proposed to the CMS that, beginning in 2015, its Medicaid beneficiaries would have to contribute to Health Independence Accounts (PDF). Beneficiaries with annual incomes between 50% and 99% of the federal poverty level would contribute $5 a month to their accounts, while those earning between 100% and 138% of poverty would pay between $10 and $25. The state would provide a matching contribution of $15 into their accounts (Johnson, 8/19).
Related KHN coverage: Arkansas Weighs Plan To Make Some Medicaid Enrollees Fund Savings Accounts (Andrews, 7/22).
Green Bay Press-Gazette: Walker On Medicaid: Dems 'Living In Alternate Universe'
Gov. Scott Walker countered attacks against his Medicaid policy saying Wisconsin has a "very unique" approach that provides health coverage for all poor people without taking on additional financial risk. Walker came under fire this week by Democrats who solicited a report from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau that found the state could have saved $206 million in its current biennial budget and another $315 million in its 2015-17 budget if Walker accepted federal money to expand Medicaid. ... At a campaign stop in De Pere on Tuesday, Walker said the reports are based on hypothetical circumstances and assume the federal government will follow through with the full funding amount (Rodewald, 8/19).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.