Are They Talking? Mixed Messages On Whether Texas Is Seeking Health Law Funds

News outlets try to pin down whether Texas officials are in discussions with the Obama administration to gain access to an estimated $100 million in health law funds. Meanwhile, a South Dakota panel lays out the pros and cons of expanding Medicaid in that state.

Politico: Obamacare Critic Rick Perry Seeks Cash From Law
Gov. Rick Perry wants to kill Obamacare dead, but Texas health officials are in talks with the Obama administration about accepting an estimated $100 million available through the health law to care for the elderly and disabled, POLITICO has learned. Perry health aides are negotiating with the Obama administration on the terms of an optional Obamacare program that would allow Texas to claim stepped-up Medicaid funding for the care of people with disabilities (Cheney and Haberman, 8/20).

Texas Tribune: Governor’s Office: We’re Not Negotiating On Obamacare
Gov. Rick Perry’s office is disputing reports that the state is negotiating with the federal government to draw down $100 million in additional financing under a rule created by the Affordable Care Act. Politico reported on Tuesday that Texas is taking advantage of the Community First Choice program, which was set up under "Obamacare" to increase federal Medicaid matching funds for home attendant services, so that more people with disabilities could receive community-based services (Aaronson, 8/20).

And in South Dakota, a panel turns in its final report on Medicaid expansion -

The Associated Press: SD Task Force Finishes Medicaid Expansion Study
An expansion of South Dakota's Medicaid program would improve health care for thousands of low-income people and could boost the state economy, but it also could put a strain on medical providers and increase state spending, a task force decided Tuesday. The task force, appointed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard to study the issue, was set up to identify the advantages and disadvantages of expanding Medicaid (Brokaw, 8/20).

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