KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Medicaid Central To White House-State Budget Tensions

As governors arrive in Washington, D.C., for the weekend meeting of the National Governors Association, the White House is bracing for more Medicaid budget crunching and coverage issues.

The Hill: Medicaid Fight Shapes Up As States Deal With Budget Crunching
The Obama administration is gearing up for an influx of state requests to modify the federal-state Medicaid partnership when the nation's governors descend on the capital for their winter meeting next weekend. High on state leaders' list of priorities is changing the health care reform law's Medicaid expansion, which 26 states challenged in federal court. The issue received renewed attention last week when Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Arizona it could drop thousands of Medicaid beneficiaries without running afoul of federal law - something 33 Republican governors have asked to be able to do (Pecquet, 2/21).

The Washington Post: In GOP-Led States, Health Care Law Inspires Attacks And Accommodations
With battles over the president's signature health legislation underway in the courts and on Capitol Hill, a third line of attack is forming in the states: Practically every week, a Republican governor or lawmaker announces a new effort to kill the health-care law or undercut its implementation (2/21).

Bloomberg: Sebelius Says State Budgets A Hurdle For Health Overhaul
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius talks with Bloomberg's Drew Armstrong about the implementation of the Obama administration's health care overhaul and her relationship with White House Deputy Chief of Staff Nancy-Ann DeParle (Armstrong, 2/22).

Minnesota Public Radio: Jesson Tasked With Implementing Uncertain Health Care Law
It's not like Lucinda Jesson needs more to do. She's running Minnesota's largest agency, the Department of Human Services - a department that comprises nearly 30 percent of the state's budget. In addition, Gov. Mark Dayton assigned her to expand Medicaid to include another 95,000 people by March 1. ... "A lot of the ideas that we're talking about in federal reform are already ideas we had started to work on here in our state." Ideas like a health insurance exchange, for example - an online site that will allow consumers to comparison shop for health insurance (Stawicki, 2/18).

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