KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Mayors Also Have A Stake In The Medicaid Expansion’s ‘Promise And Pitfalls’

This health law topic is high on the agenda of this week's U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington. Meanwhile, Utah's Gov. Gary Herbert said he will pursue some form of the expansion. Also in the news, related developments in Montana and Missouri.   

Marketplace: The Promise And Pitfalls Of Expanded Medicaid
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is meeting this week in Washington, and among the many things on the agenda is the rollout of Obamacare. Under the Affordable Care Act, many states have made it easier to get Medicaid, a move that will affect cities, experts say. "It kind of casts a wider net of eligibility," says Tom Carroll, a healthcare services analyst with Stifel Nicolaus. And that has boosted enrollment. One in five Americans is enrolled in Medicaid (Gura, 1/23).

The Associated Press: 'Nothing' Not An Option For Utah On Medicaid, Gov. Says
Utah will pursue ... some form of Medicaid expansion, but specifics on the decision will be announced at a later date, Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday. Herbert announced at his monthly televised news conference on Thursday that "doing nothing" to expand the program was off the table (1/23).

Salt Lake Tribune: Utah Guv: Medicaid Will Expand
Utah will expand Medicaid to cover more of the state's uninsured, Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday. "Doing nothing ... I’ve taken off the table. Doing nothing is not an option," the Republican governor said at his monthly news conference ... Herbert did not indicate which of two expansion strategies endorsed by a legislative Health Reform Task Force he prefers — or whether he has another in mind. He said he will make his decision during the legislative session that begins next week (Stewart and Gehrke, 1/23).

The Missoulian: Medicaid Expansion Backers Resubmit Initiative To Address Legal Snag
Backers of a proposed 2014 voter initiative to expand Medicaid coverage to at least 70,000 low-income Montanans have hit another delay, after Attorney General Tim Fox this week noted a legal problem with the measure. Fox's warning about problems with the initiative's effective date prompted backers to resubmit a new version late Wednesday, delaying for another few weeks their efforts to get the initiative on the 2014 November ballot (Dennison, 1/23).

The Associated Press: Advocates Resubmit Medicaid Expansion Proposal
The new version of the [Montana] proposal is under review by the Legislative Services Division, Secretary of State spokeswoman Terri McCoy said. When that is completed, it goes to Fox, who has 30 days to conduct a legal review. That will leave initiative backers with a shortened timeline to gather signatures, which are due June 20. The backers must gather 24,175 signatures, which is 5 percent of the voters in the state (Volz, 1/23).

The Kansas City Star: Push To Expand Medicaid Gains An Ally In Kit Bond
Proponents of expanding Medicaid in Missouri just landed an influential — and unlikely — new ally. Republican and former U.S. Sen. Kit Bond has been hired as a lobbyist by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. ... He's also been an outspoken critic of the federal health insurance law. During a 2010 interview with the conservative magazine Newsmax, Bond said the financial burden on state budgets of expanding Medicaid would be "horrific" (Hancock, 1/23).

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