Michigan Inches Toward Medicaid Expansion

Also in the news, Virginia remains undecided on the expansion as a legislative panel, called the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission, holds its first meeting, and The Arizona Republic details how Gov. Jan Brewer closed the deal in that state.

Politico: Michigan Moves Toward Medicaid Expansion
Another Republican-controlled state embrace of Medicaid expansion could be just around the corner. The Michigan Senate is expected to vote this week on a compromise reached in the lower chamber that would expand the program but limit how long beneficiaries can stay on it (Millman, 6/17).

Richmond Times Dispatch: Battle Lines Drawn In Va. Medicaid Overhaul
The Virginia Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission will meet for the first time today to review a three-phased plan of reforms outlined in amendments to the state budget that will take effect July 1. The 10-member legislative commission would be able to authorize the expansion of Virginia’s Medicaid program under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as early as the middle of next year if it finds those goals have been met – and that has opponents of the federal health care law crying foul. "This is a setup," said Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, who vows to file suit to block the commission from allowing Medicaid expansion without action by the entire legislature. "This is a way to pave the way to say 'yes'" (Martz, 6/17).

Roanoke Times: Virginia Still Undecided On Medicaid Expansion
Casto, the Fieldses and Macauley-Cintron are among an estimated 376,000 to 400,000 people in Virginia who would benefit from a proposed expansion of Medicaid, the government insurance program for the poor and disabled. ... Many of the potential beneficiaries are the working poor. They might be the cashiers on the other side of a fast-food counter, the laborers at one of the Roanoke Valley’s many warehouses or the migrant workers harvesting apples or tobacco. ... Virginia is on the fence. A two-year budget approved by the General Assembly in March allows for the expansion, but only if major improvements are made to the program. As part of the budget bill, lawmakers created a commission that will oversee the reforms and, ultimately, decide whether to proceed. The panel is scheduled to meet for the first time Monday in Richmond. A decision is expected by year’s end (Hammack and Reck, 6/15).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Va. Panel Established To Certify Medicaid Reforms And Approve Expansion Meets For First Time
The state panel responsible for verifying that a series of daunting reforms to Medicaid have been met as a condition for expanding access to the federal-state health care program meets for the first time (6/17).

The Arizona Republic: How Brewer Won The Day On Medicaid
Five months after her dramatic call to extend health insurance to thousands of low-income Arizonans, Gov. Jan Brewer closed the deal by pulling together a bipartisan coalition, harnessing the power of her office and emerging as the star of this year’s legislative session. Few would have predicted this from Brewer. ... But unlike in past sessions, when she was less involved with the legislative process, Brewer traveled the state, staged rallies, used her veto power to prod lawmakers into a budget deal, called a surprise special session and pieced together the bipartisan bloc that passed her top legislative priority (Sanchez, Reinhart and Rau, 6/16).

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