State Organizations, Officials Advance Health Law Implementation Positions

In Florida, the state hospital association is pressing for a cost-benefit analysis before lawmakers take a final vote on Medicaid expansion, and in Ohio, GOP lawmakers leave the door open for a move later this year. In Connecticut, officials are proceeding with plans to launch the state's Small Business Health Options Program despite the federal delay.

Health News Florida: Look At Hidden Savings On Medicaid Expansion, Hospitals Plead
The Florida Hospital Association wants state budget estimators to finish their cost-benefit on Medicaid expansion now, before lawmakers take a fateful vote that would send billions of dollars earmarked for Florida off to some other state (Gentry, 4/18).

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Ohio House Keeps Medicaid Discussion Going, Scraps Sex Education Restrictions
House Republicans kept alive the possibility that Ohio may expand its Medicaid program to cover the working poor, approving an amendment to its budget that could open the door to changes later this year. ... The GOP amendment on Medicaid expansion, introduced by Republican Rep. Barbara Sears of suburban Toledo, requires that legislation to reform the Medicaid program in Ohio be introduced in the House, but does not specify what shape that reform will take. It directs the governor's Office of Health Transformation and his Medicaid director to provide assistance in developing the legislation. And if the legislation is not enacted before the year ends, efforts to change Medicaid must cease. Minority Democrats, who unsuccessfully tried to get a full Medicaid expansion included in the budget, reluctantly went along with the GOP amendment (Blackwell, 4/18).

Modern Healthcare: Connecticut To Proceed With Small-Business Health Insurance Exchange
The directors of Connecticut's public health insurance exchange are moving ahead with plans to launch the state's Small Business Health Options Program marketplace in October, despite the federal government's proposed delay of the program's full rollout until 2015. On Wednesday, Access Health CT — the quasi-public agency commissioned in 2011 by the Connecticut Legislature to run the state's insurance exchange — announced that it has selected New York-based HealthPass and Chicago-based Bswift Inc. to provide technology and administrative support for the state's SHOP exchange (Dunning, 4/18).

Also in the health law coverage -

HealthyCal: The Limits Of Obamacare
Kalwis Lo, 24, says Obamacare saved his life. But his story is also a cautionary tale about the limitations of the Affordable Care Act — especially as it applies to young people. Lo could not access insurance through a provision of the health care law meant to help younger adults like him, so he went without coverage (Shanafelt, 4/19).

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.