Utah Gov. Sees Slowdown In Talks Between States And HHS On Health Law Implementation

Gov. Gary Herbert tells Politico Pro that efforts likely won't pick up until after the election. Meanwhile, a battle in Missouri appears finished on a health exchange ballot issue and Pennsylvania and Georgia also deal with implementation issues.

Politico Pro: Utah Gov: Talks Between States, HHS Slow
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday that negotiations between the states and the federal government on implementation of the health care reform law have slowed -- and he doesn't expect it to improve before the election. "I think everybody is just kind of entrenched," Herbert told Politico at a health care policy event at the Republican National Convention. "We're what, less than 70 days out from the election? I think people are saying, well I’m not going to negotiate one bit. After the elections, maybe they're going to say I need to rethink my position and get some things done" (Haberkorn, 8/30).

Kansas City Star: AG Koster Won't Appeal Ruling On Health Care Ballot Measure
Attorney General Chris Koster has decided against appealing a judge's decision to rewrite the summary of a health insurance ballot measure voters will see this November. A Cole County judge ruled earlier this week that the summary written by Democratic Secretary of State Robin Carnahan was "not fair and sufficient." The judge decided to replace it with a summary written by the Republicans who had sued Carnahan over the issue. Koster, a Democrat running for re-election, announced Thursday that the new summary more accurately reflects the legislature's intent, so he will not appeal the decision (Hancock, 8/30).

The Associated Press/St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Mo. Secretary Of State Says No Appeal Planned On New Wording For Health Care Ballot Measure
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster apparently has decided not to appeal a judge's decision to rewrite the summary voters will see for a health insurance ballot measure. The office of Democratic Secretary of State Robin Carnahan said Thursday that Koster refused its request to challenge a court ruling that her summary was unfair and insufficient (8/30).

Politico Pro: Insurance Group Eyes State-Fed Coordination
Now Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Mike Consedine wants a little extra help for his colleagues who'll find the feds running at least part of their exchange come 2014. Consedine is putting together a new working group for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners dedicated to the ins and outs of a federal exchange. Unlike so much of the discussion surrounding the Affordable Care Act, Consedine says there's nothing political about this move. "We're really looking for it to be very constructive," he said. "It's not going to be a group that is designed to be throwing grenades at the ACA" (Millman, 8/30).

The Associated Press: Medicaid Decision Could Put Georgia Hospitals At Risk
Gov. Nathan Deal's decision to reject the expansion of Medicaid prescribed by the Affordable Care Act would leave thousands of the poorest Georgians uninsured and threaten the bottom lines of hospitals that were counting on new income from the changes. Deal's spokesman noted Wednesday that the governor might agree to expand Medicaid if the federal government gave Georgia a "block grant" of money and the freedom to tailor the program as it saw fit -- none of which is currently in the health care law (Teegardin, 8/30).

Politico Pro: Republicans Questioned Medicaid Expansion
A Republican governor and a GOP senator took aim at the Medicaid expansion on Thursday, saying states still need key questions answered before they can decide how to proceed and that even if the program were expanded, it wouldn’t necessarily provide more care. During a wide-ranging discussion at Politico's health care forum in Tampa, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said a Medicaid expansion won’t do any good if doctors aren’t willing to see patients because the payments are so low. "There is a huge difference between giving someone a Medicaid card and making sure they can get care," Barrasso said (Norman, 8/30).

And the Obama administration reiterates that illegal immigrants are excluded from benefiting from the health law's coverage expansion.

Miami Herald: Obama Administration Reaffirms No Health Care Support For Undocumented Immigrants
After huge publicity in June sparked by President Barack Obama's declaration that 800,000 young undocumented immigrants could remain and work in the United States, his administration quietly issued a rule this week declaring that these immigrants can't benefit from the health care reform law. The Department of Health and Human Services released a rule amendment to clarify that the Affordable Care Act, which offers coverage to those "lawfully present" in the United States, did not apply to those mentioned in Obama's June declaration (Dorschner, 8/30).

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