Urban Institute: Medicaid Expansion Will Benefit Veterans

Overall, the health law could help as many as 40 percent of uninsured veterans gain access to health coverage. News outlets also report on Medicaid expansion news from Tennessee, Missouri and Louisiana.

The Hill: Analysis Finds Medicaid Expansion Will Benefit Veterans
Veterans stand to benefit substantially from President Obama's healthcare law, particularly in states that choose to expand their Medicaid programs, a new analysis found. Researchers with the Urban Institute reported that as many as 40 percent of uninsured U.S. veterans would be eligible for healthcare under the law's insurance exchanges or its expanded Medicaid program (Viebeck, 3/26).

The Associated Press: Haslam To Announce Medicaid Decision
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam will address a joint session of the Tennessee General Assembly on Wednesday about his decision on whether to expand Medicaid to cover more uninsured people under the federal health care overhaul, according to a person familiar with the plans. Lawmakers plan to authorize the gathering during regular floor sessions Wednesday morning, the official told The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the joint assembly hadn't yet been publicly announced (Schelzig, 3/26).

The Associated Press: Mo. House Defeats Medicaid Expansion Effort
Missouri's Republican-led House dealt a resounding defeat Tuesday to Democratic attempts to expand Medicaid, refusing to add more than $900 million to the state budget to cover 260,000 lower-income adults because of concerns about a future drag on state finances. The largely party-line votes against the Medicaid expansion marked the climax of a daylong House debate on Missouri's budget but were almost a foregone conclusion (Lieb, 3/26).

New Orleans Times Picayune: Louisiana State Analysis Of Medicaid Expansion Shows State Could Financially Benefit
An analysis by the state Department of Health and Hospitals shows that accepting the Medicaid expansion envisioned in the federal health law would likely save Louisiana millions in 2014 and possibly for years beyond that. Under a "low-impact" scenario that envisions 577,329 new enrollees in the program, the state could save as much as $367 million over the course of a decade. In a "high-impact" scenario, the state could end up spending $1.71 billion over a decade, but that not only factors in 76,000 more people getting coverage but the state also drastically ramping up reimbursement rates for doctors and hospitals who accept Medicaid (Maggi, 3/26).

In other news, an ad campaign is launched in Florida, to urge the state to turn down federal Medicaid expansion funding.

Health News Florida: Ad Urges FL To Turn Down Federal $$
A small-business lobbying group has launched a TV and online ad campaign to do the seemingly impossible: Persuade Floridians to turn down an estimated $51 billion in federal funds over the next decade -- money that would provide health coverage to about 1 million of the state's uninsured. The sponsor of the ad is the Florida arm of The National Federation of Independent Business. It is the same group that partnered with Florida in a failed effort to get the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional after President Obama signed it into law in 2010 (Gentry, 3/27).

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