KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Roundup: Okla.’s Health Reform Lawsuit; Medicaid Issues Draw Attention In Texas, N.Y., N.J.

The Wall Street Journal: Cuomo Criticized Over Medicaid Team
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's alliance with the state's health-care union and hospital lobby is drawing fire from some patient advocates, who question the governor's decision to give the powerful industry figures a front-and-center role in the process of overhauling Medicaid (Gershman, 1/8).

Bloomberg: Christie May Cut Medicaid As $10.5 Billion New Jersey Budget Deficit Looms
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gives his first State of the State speech tomorrow after saying he may cut Medicaid and employee benefits to eliminate a $10.5 billion budget deficit in the second-wealthiest U.S. state. ... The 48-year-old chief executive joined 28 other Republican governors asking President Barack Obama and congressional leaders last week for permission to reduce Medicaid outlays below federally prescribed levels (Dopp, 1/10).

The Arizona Republic: Gov. Jan Brewer Resists Restoring Arizona Transplant Coverage
Gov. Jan Brewer on Tuesday continued to reject requests for a special session to restore medical transplant coverage, despite the growing national and local attention on the state's cuts. Democratic legislators again called for Brewer to hold a special session or use discretionary federal stimulus funds to reinstate cuts for certain transplant coverage ... Brewer maintains her position that unless legislators provide a solution to what her office calls a $1 billion gap in funding for the Medicaid agency, she will not call a special session (Lee, 12/8).

California Healthline: Health Insurance Regulation Proposal Is Back
This week's large rate hike announcement by Blue Shield makes the perfect backdrop for debating an Assembly bill to regulate those kinds of rate increases, according to Assembly member Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), who introduced AB 52 last month. ... Earlier this week, Blue Shield proposed raising its premium rates an average of 30% to 35%, with some increases rising as much as 57% (Gorn, 1/7).

San Francisco Chronicle: State Compares Hospitals' Admissions, Death Rates
State health officials have issued a flurry of reports, including a look at preventable hospital admissions by county, an update on racial and ethnic inequities in health status statewide, new data on causes of death in California hospitals, and the first statistics on hospital-acquired infections (Colliver, 1/9).

The Texas Tribune: Texas Legislature Convenes, Facing Hard Choices
Expect ample political bluster - and devastating cuts. The Republican majority will continue to attack the federal health care overhaul and do everything legislatively it can to resist it. Lawmakers will also file bills and resolutions seeking federal waivers to redesign how Medicaid is administered, or they could try to drop out of the program. ... At the very least, legislators will most likely take aim at the rates at which Medicaid health care providers are reimbursed (Staff, 1/10).

The Dallas Morning News: Parkland Patients Who Complained Had Rights Violated, Report Says
Parkland Memorial Hospital repeatedly violated the rights of people who complained about medical treatment, according to a federal report obtained by The Dallas Morning News. The report describes a surprise 2010 inspection in which Medicare regulators tested whether Parkland was responding in writing to every patient grievance, as required by law. The public hospital failed to do so in all six cases the regulators sampled (Egerton, 1/9).

CQ HealthBeat: Oklahoma Will Go It Alone In Health Care Lawsuit
The incoming attorney general of Oklahoma announced Friday that the state will file its own lawsuit challenging the health care law rather than joining a multistate action based in Florida (Norman, 1/7).

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