KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

How The Medicaid Expansion Is Playing In Certain States

In New Jersey, advocates are making a case for the state to pursue this part of the health law, but  Wisconsin's governor is pointing to its complexity as an argument against it. The Washington state legislature is also giving an expansion a long look.

The Wall Street Journal: Questions Remain On Expanded Medicaid
Advocates for the poor are making their case that New Jersey should expand the ranks of people eligible for Medicaid in what could be the next big decision on how the federal health insurance overhaul plays out in New Jersey. They say it will save state taxpayers money and give far more low-income people health coverage. But doctors are apprehensive, and hospitals aren't pushing hard for the change, which some anti-big-government groups oppose deeply (1/28).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: State Could Save Money By Not Expanding Medicaid Program
The complexity of the Affordable Care Act could give Gov. Scott Walker a strong incentive to not expand the state's Medicaid program. Under one scenario, not expanding the program would save the state money immediately and even more money in future years. But it would leave tens of thousands of people in the state ineligible for coverage. And because of a quirk in the law, it could increase costs for some Wisconsin businesses. Not expanding the Medicaid program would give the state the option of not covering adults with household incomes above 100% of the federal poverty threshold - $23,050 for a family of four this year. Instead, they would be eligible for federal subsidies to buy commercial health insurance through online marketplaces known as exchanges. In contrast, only adults with incomes above 138% of the federal poverty level would be eligible for federal subsidies to buy insurance if the state expands its Medicaid program (Boulton, 1/26).

Seattle Times: State Legislators Study Expanding Medicaid
Washington state officials are moving ahead quickly to set up a new health-insurance marketplace where the uninsured can start buying health plans later this year. But one other major element of Obamacare — the expansion of Medicaid to cover more of the state’s poorest people — is getting a close look in the Legislature (Shannon, 1/27).

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