KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Mississippi Political Fight Threatens Medicaid Program, Care For 700,000

The state's Democratic and Republican lawmakers are embroiled in a game of chicken that threatens to blow up the Medicaid program, which serves 700,000 poor Mississipians. Meanwhile, reports from Indiana, Montana and California detail other developments related to state officials' decisions about whether to expand the program under the health law.

Kaiser Health News: Political Fight Jeopardizes Mississippi's Entire Medicaid Program
Medicaid and controversy are welded together in many states lately, but for the most part, the wrangling is about "new" Medicaid -- the Obamacare expansion of the health program for the poor and disabled. Mississippi, though, is raising the stakes. Democrats and Republicans in the state are in the middle of a game of political chicken that could threaten the existence of the entire Medicaid program by the end of the month (Hess, 6/22).

The Billings Gazette: The New Montana Health Insurance Marketplace
Come October, Montanans should be able to shop for health insurance on a new Internet marketplace, and anywhere from 150,000 to 200,000 Montanans will be eligible for federal subsidies to help pay for the policies. The subsidies should make health insurance available and affordable for tens of thousands of Montanans currently without it, say supporters of the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare." ... Yet surveys also indicate that the majority of people eligible for the subsidies don’t even know about them (Dennison, 6/23).

Evansville Courier & Press: With Loss Of Funds Projected, Indiana Hospitals Pray For Medicaid Expansion
It probably sounded like a good trade-off at the time: Hospitals would give up $155 billion in Medicare and other government payments to help provide more money for a Medicaid coverage expansion that begins in January. But subsequent events have put the deal in doubt in Indiana. Hospitals could be left with nothing to show for the payment reductions, which began with the Affordable Care Act in 2010, if the federal government doesn’t accept Gov. Mike Pence's idea for administering the Medicaid coverage expansion (Langhorne, 6/22).

HealthyCal: Counties Build Bridge To Obamacare
The Supreme Court decision that kept Obamacare intact made one major change to the legislation: the Medicaid expansion became optional. But California, one of the states leading on reforms, started the expansion of the state Medicaid program—known as Medi-Cal— three years ago. The early expansion in California and other states was intended to show the benefits and pitfalls of reforms before they were rolled out nationwide and to provide models for success (Shanafelt, 6/24).

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