KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Florida Sees Medicaid Enrollment Rise Even Though It Didn’t Expand The Program

While the state's Republican legislators have opposed the federal effort to expand the program for low-income people, many Florida residents are learning -- to their surprise -- that they already qualified for Medicaid, the Associated Press reports. In other Medicaid news, Ohio reports more than 100,000 new enrollees and Maine's governor vetoes legislation to expand the program.

The Associated Press: Medicaid Enrollment Rises 8 Percent In Florida
Florida's Republican lawmakers remain staunchly opposed to expanding Medicaid -- a system they've repeatedly said is too expensive and doesn't improve health outcomes. Yet Florida's Medicaid rolls are expanding under the Affordable Care Act. That's because people trying to sign up for health insurance under Obama's new health law are finding out -- to their surprise -- that they qualify for Medicaid, the federal health insurance program for the poor (Kennedy, 4/10).

The Associated Press: About 106,000 Ohioans Enroll In Expanded Medicaid 
More than 106,000 Ohioans have signed up for Medicaid under an expansion of the taxpayer funded health program, while thousands of others are waiting to hear whether they are deemed eligible. Republican Gov. John Kasich’s administration moved forward with extending Medicaid eligibility last fall under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Coverage took effect Jan. 1. The safety-net program for the poor and disabled provides coverage for one of every five Ohioans (Sanner, 4/10).

The Fiscal Times: Obamacare Battle In Virginia Mirrors National Fight
There's a Democrat at the head of the executive branch, Democrats in charge of the Senate, and a strong Republican majority in the lower house. A budget battle, sparked by disagreements over the Affordable Care Act, threatens to shut down the government. If you assumed this was a story about Washington, DC, you can be excused, but it isn’t. The scenario is currently playing out about 100 miles south of the nation’s capitol, in Richmond, where the Virginia legislature is now a month past the deadline for approval a budget for the coming fiscal year (Garver, 4/11). 

Bangor Daily News: LePage Vetoes Medicaid Expansion, Calls The Effort 'Ruinous' For Maine's Future
As expected, Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would expand Medicaid coverage to roughly 70,000 low-income Mainers and dramatically overhaul the administration of the program by outsourcing it to managed care organizations. The Legislature gave final enactment to the bill on March 28, starting a countdown for LePage to sign the bill, veto it or let it go into law without his signature. Wednesday was the deadline day. It was the third time LePage has vetoed Medicaid expansion in the 126th Legislature (Moretto, 4/9).

CQ RollCall:  Negotiations Over Pennsylvania Medicaid Expansion Plan Intensify
The public has until early Friday to comment on a controversial Medicaid expansion plan in Pennsylvania. After the comment period closes, intense discussions between federal and state officials will determine whether the state will become the 28th jurisdiction, including the District of Columbia, to broaden eligibility under the health care law. A review of some of the 740 comments filed by Thursday afternoon shows that consumer activists and medical providers are actively lobbying the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to make changes to Corbett’s plan. The comment period closes at 6 a.m. on Friday (Adams, 4/10).

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