KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Medicaid Expansion, Health Exchanges Continue To Draw Headlines

Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Rick Scott is coming to Washington to meet with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to discuss related health law implementation issues and concerns.

Politico Pro: Medicaid Expansion: What To Watch For In 2013
Millions of lives and billions of dollars have been heaped upon the doorsteps of state capitols, where officials must decide whether to expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act in time for a 2014 launch. A handful of states, though, will play a bellwether role, their political dynamics and path to expansion likely instructive for others grappling with whether to grow their Medicaid rolls. The federal government will pick up most of the cost of expansion under the health law — but states are skeptical about that promise over the long haul, and are worried about creating new entitlements that would be hard to roll back. Some states may hold back for a year or more — they can opt to expand Medicaid later, although they’d lose some federal funds (Cheney and Smith, 1/7).

CNN: Obamacare: A Few Changes Coming In 2013
While the bulk of the law goes into place in 2014, you'll see a few changes this year. However, much of 2013 will be dedicated to health facilities and government offices getting ready for the larger changes coming down the road. On Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Services conditionally approved eight more states' plans to set up their own health insurance exchange programs. The conditional approvals mean a total of 19 states plus the District of Columbia have the initial thumbs-up on their plans. Two others, Arkansas and Delaware, have the go-ahead to run an exchange in partnership with the federal government (Christiansen, 1/4).

Associated Press/ Miami Herald: Scott, Sebelius To Meet In DC To Talk Health Care
Gov. Rick Scott will meet with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to discuss the Affordable Care Act. The Republican governor has been a vocal critic of so-called "Obamacare" but softened his stance after the election, saying he was willing to work with federal officials. He's repeatedly expressed concerns about potential costs to Florida taxpayers. The meeting is slated for Monday. Florida must decide whether to expand its Medicaid rolls, which could extend coverage to roughly 900,000 low-income residents (1/7).

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