White House Considers Help For States With Proposed Medicaid Expansion

Reuters: "President Barack Obama is discussing ways to help U.S. states cover costs that are destined to rise under pending healthcare reform legislation, his press secretary said on Monday." A number of governors have "protested a special funding allocation for Nebraska in the bill. 'We're going to continue to work with governors,' White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters, referring to the health care bill."

As part of the negotiations to win the vote of Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., the Senate bill included a provision in which the federal government agreed to pay for a proposed Medicaid expansion in Nebraska. Nelson has been sharply criticized for the deal, although other senators also arranged special programs or allocations for their states too. "Gibbs noted the economic stimulus plan passed nearly a year ago included subsidies for states' Medicaid programs." He also said that expanding some of Nebraska's deal to pick up the Medicaid expansion tab for all states is "certainly part of the discussion" (Lambert, 1/11).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.