KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Medicaid Expansion Continues To Make Political And Policy Waves In The Carolinas, Pennsylvania

While South Carolina works on its own "plan b" to pursue instead of the health law's Medicaid expansion, a North Carolina hospital plans to close its doors. Its parent company blames the state's decision against the expansion.

The New York Times: Insurance Rolls To Rise In State Fighting Plan
In her State of the State speech in January, Gov. Nikki R. Haley, a Republican, said, "South Carolina will not implement the public policy disaster that is Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion." ... The reality, however, is more complex. South Carolina officials say they welcome the prospect that more than a half-million state residents — out of a population of 4.7 million — could soon gain access to affordable coverage, even without the expansion of Medicaid eligibility. And they are working to remake Medicaid so that it does not just pay claims but produces measurable improvements in the health of poor people (Pear, 9/6).

The Huffington Post: North Carolina Hospital Closes, Citing No Medicaid Expansion
A small hospital in a coastal North Carolina community will close its doors within months and its parent company says Gov. Pat McCrory's (R) decision not to expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care reform law is partly to blame. Vidant Health, a nonprofit 10-hospital network, will shutter the 49-bed Vidant Pungo Hospital in Belhaven, about an hour's drive east of the chain's Greenville headquarters, within six months, the company announced this week. Other considerations, including outdated facilities, also led to the company's decision to close the hospital but North Carolina foregoing the Medicaid expansion contributed to the decision, Vidant Health CEO David Herman told The Huffington Post (Young, 9/6).

In Pennsylvania, leaders increasingly focus on what expansion might look like in this state -

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Legislators Look At New Medicaid Models
For months, debate in Harrisburg has focused on whether to expand the state's Medicaid program. But the discussion has shifted in recent weeks, away from the yes/no debate and toward talks about what such an expansion would look like as part of a broader set of changes to the existing Medicaid program, which provides health care coverage to about 1 in 6 low-income and disabled Pennsylvanians (Giammarise, 9/8).

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