KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Texas, S.C. Lawmakers Weigh Added Spending For Medicaid

The Texas House approved supplemental funding while a S.C. legislative committee passed a bill with $75 million in new spending for that state's Medicaid program.

The Associated Press: House Approves $4B Bill To Close Medicaid Deficit
The Texas House approved a supplemental spending bill Thursday to close a $4 billion budget deficit for Medicaid. The move was an important step toward balancing the current budget after lawmakers in 2011 failed to set aside enough money to pay for the program, which provides health care for the poor and disabled. The state will run out of money for Medicaid in March, and the measure now goes to the Senate for consideration (Tomlinson, 2/21).

The Associated Press: House Ways and Means Advances Spending Bill
The (S.C.) House budget-writing committee has advanced a spending plan that includes $75 million for Medicaid initiatives designed to improve residents' health. House Republicans have repeatedly refused Democrats' efforts to expand Medicaid eligibility under the federal health care reform act. The budget proposal that advanced Thursday to the House floor contains what Ways and Means Chairman Brian White calls an overhaul of the program (Adcox, 2/21).

Meanwhile, efforts to cut back spending in Illinois are running into trouble --

The Associated Press: Ill. Medicaid Cuts Fall Short Of Projected Savings
Savings from cuts to the Illinois Medicaid program have fallen short by $464 million, about 30 percent of the expected $1.6 billion in projected savings that Gov. Pat Quinn pushed for last year. In the first public report on how cuts to the health care safety-net program are being carried out, Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Julie Hamos detailed the actual savings of cost-cutting measures so far. Hamos reported to the House Human Services Appropriation Committee on Thursday in Springfield (Johnson, 2/21).

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