KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Wisconsin’s Walker Walks Away From Medicaid Expansion

But studies conducted in other states -- such as Colorado and Georgia -- predict the expansion will have a positive impact.

Politico: Scott Walker Picks Obamacare Over Medicaid
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, avowed Obamacare foe, proposed an ambitious plan Wednesday to cut his state's uninsured population in half — by getting them covered through Obamacare. The Republican announced that he is rejecting Medicaid expansion and the billions of federal dollars that would come with it. In fact, he's proposing a net cut in the state Medicaid program (Cheney, 2/14).

The Associated Press: Walker Says No To Federal Medicaid Expansion
Gov. Scott Walker announced Wednesday that he won't propose expanding Medicaid services in Wisconsin, joining other Republican governors who have decided to reject federal money for covering more low-income residents under the health care overhaul law. Instead, Walker outlined a hybrid approach that would allow more adults into the state health program, which he said would help cut the state's uninsured rate of 14 percent in half (Bauer, 2/13).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Walker Rejects Full Medicaid Expansion, Says 224,000 More To Be Covered
The state would turn down a full expansion of the BadgerCare program under the federal health care law, but 224,600 more state residents would still gain coverage as the law takes effect, under a proposal unveiled Wednesday by Gov. Scott Walker. Speaking to an audience of hundreds at a meeting here of business lobby Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Walker said his plan would cover somewhat fewer people than a full expansion of Medicaid as provided under the federal health care law, which he said would cover 252,700 people, or 28,100 more than his own approach. But the Republican governor said that his proposal, which shrinks state health programs by a few thousand patients, would reduce the role of government in people's lives and make them more independent (Stein, 2/13).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Study: Expanding Medicaid Cheaper Than Not In Colorado
Opponents of the Medicaid expansion called for in the Affordable Care Act say states can't afford it, even with the federal government picking up most of the tab. But a new analysis says it would actually be more expensive for Colorado to not expand Medicaid (Whitney, 2/14).

Georgia Health News: Study Says Medicaid Expansion Would Enrich State
The theme of the Affordable Care Act as a job creator in Georgia gained steam Wednesday after release of a report on the projected benefits of Medicaid expansion. An estimated 70,000 new jobs would be gained if Gov. Nathan Deal approved expansion of the state’s Medicaid program, according to the report, from Georgia State University’s Bill Custer. The study, commissioned and released by Healthcare Georgia Foundation, also said expansion would produce an economic impact statewide of $8 billion annually. Deal, though, has remained steadfast in his opposition to Medicaid expansion, citing an estimated $4.5 billion cost to the state over 10 years (Miller, 2/13).

The Associated Press: SD Lawmakers Exploring Medicaid Expansion
South Dakota lawmakers, including leaders from both parties, announced Wednesday they are continuing to seek more information about the possible expansion of Medicaid. A group of 19 lawmakers said they have formed a committee to learn more about the advantages and drawbacks of expanding Medicaid (Brokaw, 2/13).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.