In States That Opt Against Medicaid Expansion, Rural Areas Could Miss Out

Also in the news, updates from Kentucky, where Gov. Steve Beshear announced he will proceed with the expansion; Michigan, where lawmakers advance a plan to expand Medicaid -- with conditions; and California, where a compromise proposal continues to be a hot topic.

Marketplace: How Some Rural Areas Are Being Pinched By Lack Of Medicaid Expansion
An expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act is supposed to cover more of the working poor and balance out cuts that were made to already-struggling hospitals. But Republican-led states have been opting out or at least holding out, and outlying areas in states like Tennessee may be the hardest hit. … Partners for Healing in Tullahoma, Tenn., offers care solely to the working uninsured, and there are plenty of them in this town of 18,000. There’s no shortage of studies showing rural Americans are more likely to have low-wage jobs, and thus have no insurance (Farmer, 5/9).

Reuters: Kentucky Governor Announces Medicaid Expansion Under Obamacare
Kentucky Democratic Governor Steve Beshear said on Thursday he will expand Medicaid coverage under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law, a move that will cut the state's uninsured population almost in half. The expansion will extend coverage to adults earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line, providing public health assistance to more than 300,000 people (Humer, 5/9).

The Associated Press: Michigan House GOP Backs Expanded Medicaid, With Conditions
Snyder and others pushing for Medicaid expansion under the federal health care law, though, credited GOP lawmakers for putting forth a House bill for discussion. Senate Republicans met behind closed doors to talk about the plan and reached no consensus. It was crafted by a GOP workgroup of two representatives and two senators (Eggert, 5/10).

California Healthline: Budget Revision May Bring Medi-Cal Expansion To A Head
Hoping to end a stalemate in California's debate over how to expand Medi-Cal, a health advocacy group has come up with a compromise proposal. Health Access California proposes a time frame and percentages for the state and counties to share $1.4 billion in savings when Medi-Cal coverage is expanded through the Affordable Care Act next year. State and county officials have been wrangling behind closed doors about how the windfall should be divided (Gorn, 5/9).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.