Both states that expanded the health care program for low-income residents and states that didn’t are looking for creative ways to keep costs down. News outlets also report on the American Medical Association meeting and doctors’ views of the Medicaid expansion, a Missouri hospital study and prospects for an extension of the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Medicaid Faces Growing Pains As Possible Overhaul Looms
Facing the need to balance their budgets next year, states are examining a variety of changes to their Medicaid programs even as Republicans weigh a major spending overhaul to the healthcare program for the poor. The changes underscore the difficulties of structuring the Medicaid program, which has little consensus across states or residents over who should qualify for it and what constitutes an appropriate level of spending. Obamacare aimed to make Medicaid more uniform by requiring states to expand it to more low-income people, but the Supreme Court ruled that portion of the bill would be optional. The District of Columbia and 31 states expanded Medicaid, leaving uneven strides in coverage from state to state. (Leonard, 6/12)
Doctors Fight GOP Senate’s Medicaid Clawback
The nation’s physicians are mobilizing once again to battle attempts to end health insurance coverage millions of Americans have gained over the last four years under the Affordable Care Act. Several groups within the American Medical Association are voicing support for policy that expands coverage even as the Republican-led U.S. Senate looks to reduce health benefits. The AMA’s policy-making House of Delegates meets through Wednesday in Chicago, amending and debating the advocacy agenda for the nation’s largest doctor group. (Japsen, 6/11)
Kansas City Star:
Missouri Hospital Association Study Finds Medicaid Expansion States Win With Republican Health Care Bill
A Missouri Hospital Association study of the American Health Care Act found that the Republican health care bill leaves Missouri and 18 other states that didn’t expand Medicaid short of federal money and continuing to feel the strain of uncompensated care. … The rollback of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion has been a point of contention in the repeal talks on Capitol Hill because some Republican governors accepted the federal expansion money starting in 2014 and want it to keep flowing now that their Medicaid programs are covering more people. (Marso, 6/9)
CQ Roll Call:
Congress Weighs Kids’ Coverage Options
Advocacy groups are pushing lawmakers to make decisions on the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which faces a funding lapse on Sept. 30 unless Congress passes a renewal. Congressional aides say they have received preliminary information from the Congressional Budget Office about several options lawmakers are expected to discuss in more depth next week. The House Energy and Commerce Committee plans an initial hearing on June 14 on extending safety net programs, specifically funding for CHIP as well as community health centers and federally qualified health centers. The committee has not yet announced who will testify. (Raman, 6/9)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.