Medicaid rolls grow by 6 million since health law rollout

The total, which includes 1.1 million people who signed up in April alone, does not indicate how many people gained coverage through the law's expansion of Medicaid, a program pursued by 26 states. That's because individuals who were eligible for Medicaid before the law's passage, but not enrolled, also signed up.

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: How Many People Got Medicaid from Obamacare? It's Complicated
There were 65 million people in Medicaid by the end of April, six million more than there had been on the eve of the launch of the health law, the Obama administration said Wednesday. The success of the Affordable Care Act in growing Medicaid -- a key aim of the 2010 law -- is a main point of political debate. But figuring out how many actually signed up for the program for low-income Americans because of the law is complicated (Radnofsky, 6/4).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Medicaid Enrollment Surges By More Than 1 Million In April
Medicaid enrollment surged by more than 1 million people in April, bringing the total growth in the state-federal health insurance program for the poor since September to about 6 million, the Obama administration said Wednesday (Galewitz, 6/4).

Politico: Medicaid Rolls Surge, But Not Everywhere
Medicaid enrollment is surging, but states shunning Obamacare's huge Medicaid expansion are getting left behind, according to data released Wednesday by HHS. About 65 million people were enrolled in Medicaid and the closely related Children's Health Insurance Program at the end of April, 6 million more than had been enrolled in the months leading up to Obamacare's Oct. 1 launch. The numbers reflect a big spike in April, when 1.1 million additional people were enrolled in Medicaid compared to March (Cheney, 6/4).

Reuters: Medicaid Logs 6M New Enrollees Since ACA Rollout
Six million people have enrolled in government healthcare programs for the poor, including Medicaid, since the launch of Obamacare health insurance enrollment on Oct. 1, the Obama administration said on Wednesday. The total, which includes 1.1 million people who enrolled in April alone, does not indicate specifically how many people have gained coverage through the Affordable Care Act's expansion of Medicaid, a program run by states but overseen by the federal government (6/4).

Meanwhile, the expansion debate continues in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia --

North Carolina Health News: Advocating For Medicaid Expansion At NC Legislature
Hundreds of doctors in white coats, health care advocates and supporters of the North Carolina NAACP gathered at the state General Assembly to ask lawmakers for Medicaid expansion Wednesday. Last March, the state decided not to expand Medicaid as allowed for under the Affordable Care Act, leaving an estimated 318,710 uninsured North Carolinians in a "coverage gap" in which they don't qualify for Medicaid but can't afford to buy insurance on the online health insurance exchange (Namkoong, 6/5).

The Associated Press: NC Doctors, Mccrory Meet To Back His Medicaid Plan
Gov. Pat McCrory and leaders of North Carolina physician organizations tried Wednesday to get the governor's Medicaid overhaul plan back in front of the legislature after the state Senate essentially rejected his idea. Standing next to more than 30 doctors in their traditional white coats, McCrory said the proposal developed by his administration is the best way to bring budget predictability to Medicaid and improve patient care. ... Doctors and hospital groups back the idea of "accountable care organizations" developed after months of meetings by an advisory board. Hospital and doctor networks would share in Medicaid savings and cost overruns. Patient health and administrative efficiencies also would play roles in calculating the organization's windfalls or payments (Robertson, 6/4).

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: GOP Splitting In Pa. House Over Medicaid
Three Republican House members crossed party lines to join with Democrats on Wednesday for a committee vote in favor of Medicaid expansion, which could set up a fight with other Republicans in the state House later this month. ... The vote followed more than an hour of procedural maneuvering by the committee's Republicans, who tried to halt the vote by making motions to refer the bill to another committee. Even when it became clear the bill would likely pass, opponents persisted, motioning for the committee to adjourn, and speaking about the perceived ills of the Affordable Care Act and federal government in general (Giammarise, 6/4).

The Associated Press: Indiana Governor Offers Support To Virginia GOP 
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is offering moral support to Virginia House Republicans as they oppose expanding Medicaid coverage. Pence sent a letter to House Speaker William J. Howell last week saying he supports the House GOP's position to separate a debate on Medicaid from the state budget (6/3).

And on the health exchange front --

The Seattle Times: Washington Health Insurance Exchange CIO Resigns
Curt Kwak, chief information officer of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, which manages the Washington Healthplanfinder online insurance marketplace, has resigned for personal reasons. "I want to spend more time with my family," Kwak said this morning. Kwak oversaw the technical side of the development of the exchange's website and its integration with state and federal databases from August 2012 through completion of the first enrollment period at the end of March 2014. While the Washington exchange has experienced some problems, particularly in its first month of operation, it is considered to have had one of the more successful launches under the Affordable Care Act, with more than 164,000 people enrolled in qualified health plans (Marshall, 6/4).

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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