Crunch Time For States Still On Fence About Medicaid Expansion

As states' legislative sessions draw to a close, some lawmakers are pressing for action. Meanwhile, media outlets track updates in Michigan, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Colorado, Ohio and Alabama.

Modern Healthcare: Medicaid Expansion Could Occur In Red States In Coming Weeks
The coming weeks are shaping up to be a big deal for states still on the fence regarding Medicaid expansion. Democrats in Pennsylvania are trying to force a vote in that state's Legislature, Philadelphia's CBS affiliate reported today. Democrats in the Keystone State recently failed in an effort to get a Medicaid expansion included in a budget bill that could be voted on today. In addition, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett is said to be in negotiations with the Obama administration on how the state might satisfy the Medicaid provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Block, 6/11).

The Associated Press: Michigan House May Pass Medicaid Expansion This Week
Michigan might be closer to making 320,000 more low-income residents eligible for Medicaid next year after House Republicans dropped calls to end the health coverage for adults who have received benefits for four years. A new draft version of legislation that could be voted on as early as Tuesday no longer includes a hard, 48-month time limit for nondisabled adults added to the government health insurance program under the contentious federal health care overhaul (6/11).

MLive: Tea Party Activists Blast Snyder For Medicaid Push: 'Conservatives Should Not Help' His Re-Election
Some prominent names in the Michigan Tea Party movement are calling on conservatives to "sit out" Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's re-election campaign because of his push to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as "Obamacare" (Oosting, 6/11).

The Associated Press: Planned Parenthood Pushes For Medicaid Expansion In N.H.
About 38,000 New Hampshire women would be among those who qualify for health care coverage if the state expands Medicaid to cover poor adults under the federal health care overhaul, officials with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England said Tuesday. Women would be disproportionately affected if the state fails to take advantage of the optional Medicaid benefit because the majority of poor adults in the state are women, Planned Parenthood officials and members of the New Hampshire Women's Health Network told reporters at a Statehouse news conference urging the Republican-controlled Senate to agree with the governor and House and authorize the expansion (Love, 6/12).

The Associated Press: State Republicans And Democrats Staking Opposite Medicaid Expansion Positions
State leadership committees for the Mississippi Republican and Democratic parties are staking out opposite positions on Medicaid expansion. Resolutions adopted by the two groups in the past few days reflect what their own elected officials have been saying for months (6/11).

Columbus Dispatch: State Must Act Fast On Medicaid
With the legislative clock running down, supporters of expanding Ohio’s Medicaid program yesterday released statistics underscoring how it would slash the ranks of the uninsured while bringing millions into local economies. Expanding the program would provide health-care coverage to nearly 28,000 uninsured adults in Franklin County, reducing the county’s uninsured rate to 2 percent by 2015. It also would generate $3.3 million in sales taxes from managed-care revenues, according to Advocates for Ohio’s Future (Candisky, 6/12).

Tuscaloosa News: David Bronner Says Alabama Governor ‘Irresponsible’ On Medicaid
The head of the pension funds for Alabama’s state workers on Tuesday accused Gov. Robert Bentley of acting irresponsibly by refusing to expand Alabama’s Medicaid program. David Bronner, the longtime CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, told members of the Tuscaloosa Rotary Club that Alabama is one of 14 states with conservative Republican governors who have refused to accept federal dollars to expand their Medicaid programs. “To turn it down makes no sense whatsoever to me. It is irresponsible,” Bronner said during a luncheon speech at Indian Hills Country Club (Rupinski, 6/11). 

In other state-based implementation news -

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Colorado Offers Exchange 'Assister' Money To Many Groups
Obamacare in Colorado is getting down to the details, in dollars and cents. One of the 16 states that is setting up its own online insurance marketplace, Colorado on Monday named 58 organizations it’s selected to form its "assistance network" to help residents sign up for health coverage on the exchange (Whitney, 6/11).

Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Exchange Must Offer Voter Registration, Activists Say
Voting rights activists say Colorado’s health exchange must serve as a mandatory voter registration agency, but exchange managers contend they do not need to comply with the law popularly known as the Motor Voter Act. For now, activists with Colorado Common Cause are trying to encourage exchange managers to comply with the law. But if negotiations fail, they may sue the exchange. … The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 requires agencies, such as driver’s license bureaus and all state offices that offer public assistance, to serve as “mandatory voter registration agencies” (Kerwin McCrimmon, 6/11).

The Associated Press: NH Health Overhaul Committee At A Stalemate
After months of arguing, New Hampshire lawmakers overseeing implementation of the federal health care overhaul law agreed on one thing Tuesday: They're at a stalemate. The joint Health Care Oversight Committee includes three Republicans and three Democrats who have spent a significant amount of time disagreeing about the authority accorded to various players involved in implementing the law, including the insurance department, the governor and the committee itself (Ramer, 6/11).

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