Michigan Gives Final Green Light To Medicaid Expansion

Meanwhile, the federal government approved a one-year waiver for the Healthy Indiana Plan.

Reuters: Michigan House Approves Expanding Medicaid Under Obamacare
The Republican-led Michigan House gave final approval on Tuesday to a bill that would expand the Medicaid health program for the poor under Democratic President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law. Representatives voted 75-32 to concur with modifications of a bill that they had approved in June and agreed to send it to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, a Republican who has backed the expansion of the Medicaid program (Bailey, 9/3).

Detroit Free Press: Delay In Medicaid Expansion To Cost Michigan $7M A Day In Lost Federal Funds
Final approval didn’t come without hiccups. The Senate failed to give the bill immediate effect, which means that it won’t go into effect until sometime in late March or early April. That delay will end up costing the state an estimated $7 million a day in lost federal funds for the expansion, or more than $630 million if delayed to April (Gray, 9/3).

Modern Healthcare: Reform Update: Michigan Legislature Approves Medicaid Expansion, But Will The CMS?
[S]ome observers are questioning whether the Obama administration will OK the state's request to require enrollees to pay up to 5% of their income for cost-sharing. The Republican-controlled Michigan Senate narrowly approved a measure last week to expand the state's Medicaid program to include all childless adults with incomes up to 138% of the poverty line, or $15,500 for an individual; ... Five percent of a $15,500 income is nearly $800, which experts say is a lot of money for someone at that income level (Johnson, 9/3).

Reuters: U.S. Allows Indiana To Offer Health Program Outside Of Obamacare
The federal government will allow Indiana to operate its own health program temporarily, Governor Mike Pence said on Tuesday, making it the first state to receive such a major exception this year under President Barack Obama's signature medical reform law. Indiana is one of the Republican-led states that rejected the federal government's incentives to expand the Medicaid health program for the poor and declined to set up a health insurance exchange to allow consumers to shop for insurance (Guyett, 9/3).

The Associated Press: Feds Agree To One-Year Extension Of Healthy Indiana Plan
As part of a deal with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Pence administration will lower the amount residents can earn before they qualify for the state-run Healthy Indiana Plan while pushing more residents into the federal health insurance exchange (LoBianco, 9/3).

Chicago Sun-Times: Indiana’s Health Plan Gets One-Year Federal Waiver
Additional tools were provided to manage enrollment in the program, allowing the state to keep the program fiscally sustainable. Gov. Mike Pence viewed the decision as a victory for citizens enrolled in the plan. ... Pence and Republican legislative leaders originally wanted to use Healthy Indiana to cover more than 400,000 uninsured residents under the Medicaid expansion (Mikus, 9/3).

Fom Kentucky -

Louisville Courier-Journal: Kentucky Medicaid Expansion Clears Hurdle Of Legal Challenge
The [Gov.] Beshear administration’s plans to expand Medicaid and begin enrollment in Kentucky’s new health care exchange survived its first court challenge Tuesday. In separate rulings, Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd upheld both decisions by Gov. Steve Beshear intended to expand access to health care to 640,000 uninsured Kentuckians under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The rulings swept aside the legal challenge by Nicholasville Tea Party activist David Adams and others who insisted that Beshear’s actions must be ratified by the legislature (Loftus, 9/3).

In related news -

Kaiser Health News: Study: Nearly Half Of U.S. Births Are Covered By Medicaid
About half the births in the United States are paid for by Medicaid — a figure higher than previous estimates – and the numbers could increase as the state-federal health insurance program expands under the Affordable Care Act, according to a study released Tuesday" (Galewitz, 8/3).

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