On campaign trail, Ky. GOP candidates promise Medicaid expansion repeal

In the meantime, Illinois bets on birth control as a way to drive down Medicaid costs, and Florida Health News looks at the top Medicaid managed care companies in Florida.

The Associated Press: Ky. GOP House Leaders Target Federal Health Care
Republicans vying to wrest the Kentucky House from Democratic control for the first time in nearly a century promised Tuesday to try to repeal the state's Medicaid expansion and rein in other parts of the federal health care overhaul. House Republican leaders made stops in western Kentucky as part of a multi-day tour to promote their legislative agenda, called the "Handshake with Kentucky." They said they would push for legislation prohibiting mandatory participation in a workplace union and for a revamped state tax code and creation of medical expert panels to review proposed medical malpractice claims before they could be pursued in court. "If the people of Kentucky entrust us with the majority, we are committing to immediately begin debate with the intention of passing each of these pieces of legislation," House GOP Floor Leader Jeff Hoover said (Schreiner, 9/2).

The Associated Press: Illinois Medicaid Pushes Long-Acting Birth Control 
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's administration wants to double down on long-acting birth control methods for the poor in an effort to save taxpayer money on unplanned pregnancies, a strategy that is raising concern among Catholic health care systems. Officials with the Illinois Medicaid program plan to increase payments to doctors and clinics for methods such as intrauterine devices, using an approach advocates say could save millions of dollars. "We could really show some very dramatic results, including cost savings results," said Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Julie Hamos. The department wants comments on an 11-point plan by Sept. 15. The plan would require Catholic health systems, which run the only hospitals in some low-income neighborhoods, to tell the state annually how they refer women elsewhere for services they won't provide (Johnson, 9/3). 

Florida Health News: WellCare, Centene Top Medicaid Managed Care Enrollment
With the multi-billion-dollar, four-month enroll-a-thon for Florida's Statewide Medicaid Managed Care program now complete, totals show WellCare Health Plans still on top. The Tampa company's Staywell plan now has more than 600,000 Florida Medicaid members. That's 23 percent of the state's roughly 3.3 million residents with Medicaid coverage, according to calculations by Citigroup Global Markets' analyst Carl McDonald. Coming in second is Sunshine Health Plan, a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Centene Corp. With 372,000 people enrolled, it holds 15 percent of the Florida Medicaid market (Gentry, 9/2).


http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis 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.

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