KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Medicaid Expansion: Ohio Board To Decide On Governor’s Proposal Today

Republican Gov. John Kasich is seeking to expand Medicaid without the legislature's approval, a move that could prompt a lawsuit. Elsewhere, the Obamacare's Medicaid "gap" is examined and health policy experts say they expect more states will end up expanding the program.

PoliticoPro: State Week: Ohio Medicaid Decision Looming
Today's the big day for the Medicaid expansion in Ohio, when a state spending board is expected to vote on Republican Gov. John Kasich’s request to expand without the Legislature's support. The request would allow Ohio to tap into about $2.5 billion in federal funds for the expansion over the next two years. If a majority of the seven-member Controlling Board approve the request, expansion opponents have already indicated they could sue Kasich for subverting the legislature's will (Millman, 10/21).

Politico: Medicaid Gap Leaves Obamacare Haves And Have-Nots
April Gomez-Rodriguez hopes Obamacare changes her life. Daniel Hughes says it's like the health law never happened. The difference between them: one state border. ... Gomez-Rodriguez, 32, who works with kids at a behavioral health center, lives in New Mexico, where Gov. Susana Martinez was among the first in the GOP to embrace the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. On Jan. 1, Gomez-Rodriguez and her husband will have health coverage for the first time in years. Hughes, 40, who works in home repair, lives in Texas, where Gov. Rick Perry’s staunch opposition to Medicaid expansion and other key elements of Obamacare shut him out (Haberkorn, 10/20).

Medpage Today: More States Expected To Expand Medicaid
For the 26 states that haven't expanded their Medicaid programs thus far, the question going forward isn't whether they will expand but how, state health policy experts said here Friday. A smattering of politics, uncertainty, and budgetary concerns have prevented most states from accepting federal funds to cover individuals making essentially up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, as the Affordable Care Act provides. But slowly more states will buy into Medicaid expansion -- although many will do so through alternative expansion programs, such as using public dollars to purchase private insurance, predicted Genevieve Kenney, PhD, co-director of the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute in Washington (Pittman, 10/20).

Doctors in South Dakota are urging lawmakers there to expand the program as well --

The Associated Press: South Dakota Doctors Urge State To Expand Medicaid Program
Fearing a long-term rise in private insurance premiums, South Dakota doctors are renewing pressure on Gov. Dennis Daugaard to expand the state's Medicaid program under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Dr. Daniel Heinemann, president of the South Dakota State Medical Association, told a group of 50 physicians in Rapid City that failure to expand Medicaid could have an effect on all South Dakotans (10/20).

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