Capsules: Colorado Will Expand Medicaid, Governor Announces; Exchange Surprise: GOP-Led Utah Gets Thumbs Up From HHS

Now on Kaiser Health News' blog, Colorado Public Radio's Eric Whitney, working in partnership with KHN and NPR, reports on Colorado's plans to expand Medicaid: "Gov. John Hickenlooper said Colorado will expand its Medicaid program as much as the federal health care law calls for, and he said the state won’t have to spend any extra money to make it happen. The federal health overhaul law requires states to significantly expand the health care program for the poor, but when the U. S. Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act last June, it said states couldn’t be forced to take the new Medicaid money, essentially making that expansion optional" (Whitney, 1/3).

Also on the blog, Phil Galewitz reports on the Obama administration's approval of Utah's health exchange: "The Obama administration's announcement Thursday that it has given Utah a conditional okay to run its own state health insurance marketplace came as a surprise to many exchange watchers. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, had resisted making major changes to the state's existing market, which was built before passage of the health care law and is geared to small business" (Galewitz, 1/3). Check out what else is on the blog.

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