Medicaid expansion unsettles governors' meeting

Governors express sharp disagreements about whether to expand Medicaid, as mandated by the health law. Meanwhile, a pediatric expert warns congressional staff that state efforts to roll back Medicaid eligibility could cut coverage to millions of poor children.

Stateline:  Health Care Ruling, Elections Dominate Governors' Meeting
The typical low-key summer gathering of the nation's governors was anything but subdued this year.  The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision leaving it up to the states whether to expand their Medicaid programs topped headlines coming from the National Governors Association's two-day meeting held in Williamsburg, Va., that began July 13. ... The NGA, an organization made up of governors of both parties, historically strives for bipartisan agreement, but with this topic, that seems unlikely (Prah, 7/16).

CQ Healthbeat: 'Maintenance of Effort' Provisions Critical To Coverage For Children
If governors do not have to abide by the health law requirement that they maintain current eligibility policies to enroll children in Medicaid and CHIP, gains made in insuring those youngsters would be lost, according to an American Academy of Pediatrics expert speaking to congressional staff on Monday.  The health care law will reduce the number of children who do not have insurance from about 7.4 million to 4.2 million if funding for coverage is provided as expected, Renee Fox, said. … But if lawmakers were to get rid of requirements that states maintain eligibility for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) until 2019, the number of kids without insurance would be around 7.9 million to 9.1 million, according to Fox (Adams, 7/16).

Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Colorado Hospitals Want Medicaid Expansion
Burdened with providing $1.5 billion in care for the uninsured a year, Colorado hospitals support an expansion of Medicaid to help reduce health care costs. "As of now, the Medicaid expansion is the best solution we know of to get health insurance for the people who need it most," said Julian Kesner, spokesman for the Colorado Hospital Association. Kesner said the association's financial analysts are calculating how much a failure to expand Medicaid would cost hospitals, but he doesn't have an estimate yet (McCrimmon, 7/16).

The Associated Press/CBS News: Texas Medicaid Debate About Politics, Ideology
The debate in Texas over whether to fully implement the new federal health care law has little to do with health care, and a lot to do with ideology and politics. Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Tom Suehs summed it up best last week when he said the question is not whether to pay for poor people's health care, but who will pay (7/16).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from 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.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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