Minn., Texas, Colo. Adapting To Health Law In Different Ways

News outlets covered how various states are ramping up health exchanges, or not, and expanding Medicaid, or not.

MPR News: Affordable Care Act Has Unique Proving Ground In Minnesota
No state is set to embrace the Affordable Care Act as thoroughly as Minnesota, the only one that will implement the "big three" components of health insurance expansion. That means Minnesota will expand the Medicaid program, develop an online insurance marketplace and offer a basic health program. It's the third component that really sets the state apart. Only Minnesota has committed to offering a basic health program, a safety net for people who have too much income to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford private insurance (Richert, 7/9).

Texas Tribune: Feds: TX Hispanics May Not Hear Health Reform
Texans, and in particular the state's Hispanic population, might remain in the dark on the benefits of the new federal health care law because outreach efforts are largely focusing on the 24 states participating in the Medicaid expansion and state-based insurance exchanges, officials with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said on Monday. Texas is not among those states; Gov. Rick Perry and Republican leaders have argued federal health reform would eventually bankrupt the state (Bacardi, 7/10).

Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Feds Brake, Colorado Hits Accelerator On Health Reform
Colorado exchange managers have no plans to tinker with the state’s small business or individual health exchange. … The Obama Administration last week postponed for one year the requirement that businesses with more than 50 employees provide health insurance across-the-board or face stiff fines. Colorado's small business exchange will serve businesses with fewer than 50 employees who are not required to provide health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Colorado is one of 16 states building its own health exchange (Kerwin McCrimmon, 7/9).

St. Louis Beacon: At St. Louis Bill Signing, Nixon 'Hopeful' About Medicaid Committees
Gov. Jay Nixon told reporters he was "hopeful" that House and Senate committees studying changes to the state's Medicaid program would result in legislative action next year. The two chambers are holding hearings this summer on the health-care program for the poor. The Senate committee held hearings in Jefferson City, while another House committee is set to convene tomorrow in Independence (Rosenbaum, 7/9).

The Associated Press: Snyder Visits U.P. To Push Health Care Expansion
Gov. Rick Snyder took his campaign for expanded Medicaid coverage in Michigan to the Upper Peninsula on Tuesday, saying it's essential to extend care to hundreds of thousands of uninsured residents and take the pressure off overworked emergency rooms. The Republican leader met with officials at Marquette General Hospital (7/9).

The Associated Press: Medicaid Expansion Plans On Par With Implementation Date
The [North Dakota] director of the Department of Human Services said Tuesday the state should be ready Oct. 1 to help more than 20,000 North Dakotans apply for Medicaid when the application process goes online. But Maggie Anderson said officials won’t know how many will enroll until the federal mandate requiring everyone to have health care coverage kicks in Jan. 1 (Jerke, 7/9).

The Associated Press/St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Mo. Senators Hear Pleas To Expand Medicaid Access
Advocates for the mentally and physically ill urged lawmakers to expand access to Medicaid as a Senate panel began taking public testimony Tuesday on ways to improve the government-funded health care program. The plea to expand adult eligibility for Medicaid was a familiar one embraced by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon but repeatedly rejected by the Republican-led Legislature during its annual session that ended in May (Lieb, 7/9).

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