States continue efforts to find their own way forward on Medicaid expansion

Today's news regarding this health law provision comes from developments in Florida, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Tampa Bay Times: Speaker Will Weatherford Says 'Never Say Never' To Federal Money For Medicaid Alternatives
(Florida) House Speaker Will Weatherford, for the first time, indicated Tuesday he might be open to accepting federal money. "You never say 'never' in this business, I've learned that," Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, replied when asked about his willingness to accept some federal aid as part of a House alternative to Medicaid expansion. ... Weatherford has criticized Medicaid expansion as a one-size-fits-all program that Florida won't be able to afford in the long run. ... Weatherford this week said he would like a more limited scope, such as a plan that helps the disabled or adults with children. He continues to oppose providing health care coverage to all adults meeting income requirements (Mitchell, 4/2).

The Associated Press: Haslam Insists Medicaid Pursuit No 'Fool's Errand'
Gov. Bill Haslam said Tuesday that his ongoing pursuit of a special deal for Medicaid expansion in Tennessee is no "fool's errand" and that an arrangement could still be struck at any time. The Republican governor said he remains in negotiations with the federal government over his proposal to use $1.4 billion in Medicaid money available under the federal health care overhaul to pay for private coverage for uninsured Tennesseans (Schelzig, 4/2).

The Texas Tribune: Williams Crafting Medicaid Reform Plan
State Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, is crafting a Medicaid reform plan that would use premium tax revenue to subsidize private health plans for uninsured Texans, his office confirmed on Tuesday night. Gary Scharrer, a spokesman for Williams, said the proposal is "still a concept," one that is designed to "buy some time" as Texas debates how to overhaul Medicaid in the midst of pressure from the federal government to embrace elements of the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare" (Ramshaw, 4/2).

Modern Healthcare: State Reform Update: Pa. Governor Latest To Seek Medicaid Changes
Governors continue to make pilgrimages to HHS as states keep trying to craft custom versions of the healthcare reform law's Medicaid expansion and avoid leaving new federal funding on the table. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett planned to meet with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Tuesday evening to explore his state's options, according to spokeswoman for the governor. Corbett, a Republican, told the Pennsylvania Legislature in February that he opposed raising Medicaid eligibility but has since signaled he might support growing the program using a tailored approach (Daly, 4/2).

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.



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