KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

States’ Legislative Health Initiatives Stall

The Boston Globe: "A group of Massachusetts mayors, fed up with what they say is legislative inaction on skyrocketing municipal health care costs, has launched a ballot initiative for 2012 aimed at giving cities and towns more flexibility in reducing expensive benefits for employees, retirees, and elected officials" (Murphy, 3/10).

The Associated Press/Bloomberg BusinessWeek: "An attempt by a Republican Louisiana lawmaker to nullify a federal health care overhaul before it's approved by Congress would be ridiculous and premature, the Democratic leader of the state House of Representatives said Tuesday. ... A bill filed by Republican Sen. A.G. Crowe asserts states' rights to refuse the federal mandates proposed in the congressional Democrats' health care legislation" (Deslatte, 3/9).

The (Douglas County, Minn.) Echo Press: "The Minnesota House upheld Governor Tim Pawlenty's veto of a health-care program for Minnesota's poorest residents last week, allowing negotiations on the subject to continue. Representatives sustained the veto 86-47, with 90 needed to override, but they immediately took another vote that leaves it available for future action" (Davis, 3/10).

Meanwhile, in other state news, The Associated Press/Miami Herald reports that "Republicans are touting Medicaid fraud-fighting legislation that's packed with political baggage. Republican Attorney General Bill McCollum joined GOP lawmakers at a news conference Tuesday to promote the bill (SB 8). He also disputed an allegation by Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink that he hasn't done enough to root out Medicaid fraud. ... The bill would strengthen the attorney general's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and collocate it within the chief financial officer's department" (3/9).

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