KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

In Some States, Opposition To Medicaid Expansion Leading Employers To Brace For Higher Health Care Costs

The Wall Street Journal reports on this trend. Meanwhile, other news outlets report on state-specific developments regarding the debates over expanding the health program for low-income people.

The Wall Street Journal: In Medicaid, A New Health-Care Fight
Employers in several states are bracing for higher health-care costs as some governors, worried about the impact on state budgets from the federal overhaul, resist a planned Medicaid expansion (Radnofsky, 2/10).

Kaiser Health News: Medicaid Transformation Watched Closely In Florida
This week the federal government signed off on the first part of a plan that could eventually steer more than 3 million low-income Floridians on Medicaid into a managed care, or HMO system. The decision comes two years after Florida lawmakers approved the conversion in an attempt to control costs in the $21 billion program (Hatter, 2/8).

Stateline: Seizing Medicaid Expansion As A Means to Reform
Just two states have governors who are physicians. Democrat John Kitzhaber of Oregon is an emergency room doctor. Republican Robert Bentley of Alabama is a dermatologist. Their states may have little in common, but the medically trained governors have embraced similar Medicaid reforms (Vestal, 2/11).

The Associated Press: NY Hopes To Add 500,000 Residents To Medicaid
With New York's Medicaid coverage already broader than federal law requires, the state expects to add about 75,000 more people to the program next year under the health care overhaul, plus another 425,000 who are already eligible but don't know it. Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor, currently covers 5.1 million New Yorkers, more than one-fourth of the state's residents (Virtanen, 2/10).

San Francisco Chronicle: Health Care Topic Of CA Special Session
California leaders are getting ready to consider legislation to expand health insurance coverage to millions of uninsured state residents as the start date of the federal Affordable Care Act moves closer. The act was signed into law by President Obama in 2010, but California must still pass bills to expand its Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, for more than 1 million new people and set the rules that the insurance industry must follow when individuals begin to purchase medical insurance through an open market exchange. Starting next week, lawmakers at the Capitol will hold hearings on bills that will help California set the stage for Obamacare (Buchanan, 2/10).

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