KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Nearly 3 Million Medicaid Enrollees Still Waiting To Get Applications Processed

Technological snags and bureaucratic tangles have slowed the health law's promise of coverage to many low-income Americans, CQ Healthbeat reports. In other news on the law's Medicaid provisions, the Chicago Tribune examines the demographics of new local beneficiaries.

CQ Healthbeat: The Hidden Failure Of Obama's Health Care Overhaul
At least 2.9 million Americans who signed up for Medicaid coverage as part of the health care overhaul have not had their applications processed, with some paperwork sitting in queues since last fall, according to a 50-state survey by CQ Roll Call. Those delays — due to technological snags with enrollment websites, bureaucratic tangles at state Medicaid programs and a surge of applicants — betray Barack Obama’s promise to expand access to health care for some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens (Adams, 6/3).

Chicago Tribune: Cook County Releases 1st Snapshot Of New Medicaid Patients
New data released in May offer the first look at the health, habits and demographics of about 100,000 new enrollees in Cook County's expanded Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. The picture it paints is bleak. More than half the new patients covered by Cook County's Medicaid expansion program haven't seen a doctor in the past 12 months. Eighty-five percent of them are unable to obtain needed medications. Nearly one-fourth have spent time in a hospital in the past six months and an additional 1 in 5 are worried about finding a place to stay in the near future (Frost, 6/2).

Las Vegas Sun: Nevada's Health Exchange For Medicaid To Cost $25 Million
The cost to replace the Medicaid section of Nevada’s flawed online health insurance exchange will be $25 million, a state official told a legislative committee today. The federal government will pay $22.5 million and Nevada will pay the rest, said Mike Wilden, director of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. Wilden broke the news this morning during a meeting with members of the Legislative Committee on Health Care (Roerink, 6/2).

Virginia Pilot: Retired Admirals Endorse Medicaid Expansion Alternative
Two retired Navy admirals have joined the roster of those urging state lawmakers to accept federal funds so thousands of uninsured Virginians can access health care, including many military veterans. Henry C. Giffin III and John T. Kavanaugh, retired vice admiral and rear admiral, respectively, in a May 29 letter to several South Hampton Roads legislators voice support for a state plan "to close the coverage gap" through an approach "that relies on private, free-market based solutions." That reads like an endorsement of the "Marketplace Virginia" plan drawn to recapture state health care tax dollars to purchase private health care for needy Virginians as an alternative to true Medicaid expansion (Walker, 6/2).

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