Pa. Gov. Corbett Expected To Announce Medicaid Expansion Plan Today; Issue Also Contentious In Va. Governor's Race

Corbett, a Republican, is reportedly likely to call for a hybrid program similar to what Arkansas is doing. In Virginia, Democrat Terry McAuliffe's vows to expand the program for low-income people could hold the state's budget hostage, Republicans argue.

The Philadelphia Inquirer/Kaiser Health News: Gov. Corbett To Propose Big Changes to Pennsylvania Medicaid
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett will announce his plan Monday to expand health coverage for the poor by using public dollars to finance commercial insurance for 500,000 uninsured Pennsylvanians (Worden, Couloumbis and Brubaker, 9/15). 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Corbett Expected To Make Announcement On Medicaid
Republican legislative sources say a straightforward expansion of the health care program is not being considered, and a hybrid model that would give a subsidy to low-income consumers to buy private insurance is likely, similar to what has been proposed in Arkansas. "They're looking at private options, which is appropriate," Steve Miskin, a spokesman for House Republicans, said Friday (Giammarise, 9/14).

Reuters: Pennsylvania To Unveil Proposal On Extending Medicaid Access
Governor Tom Corbett is expected to propose early next week that Pennsylvania extend Medicaid benefits to more low-income residents, likely helping them purchase private insurance using Medicaid funds, a Republican state representative said on Friday. State Representative Gene DiGirolamo, chairman of the House Human Services Committee, Corbett's proposal probably will look similar to plans in Iowa and Arkansas, other states where officials have resisted the outright expansion of the Medicaid program under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law (Kelley, 9/13).

The Associated Press: Gov. Tom Corbett To Tour State To Pitch His Health Care Plans
Gov. Tom Corbett will start a three-day tour Monday to lay out his plans to improve health care and reveal the conditions under which he would accept additional Medicaid dollars under the sweeping federal health care law designed to provide insurance to more working poor.  A key condition for Corbett will be an idea being explored by some other states — using the Medicaid dollars to buy private insurance policies instead of expanding government rolls — where Republicans are wary of expanding traditional Medicaid coverage (9/15).

Earlier KHN Coverage: The  Arkansas Model: What You Need To Know About It (Hancock).

The Washington Post: If Elected, McAuliffe Faces Showdown With Va. House Republicans Over Obamacare
Terry McAuliffe has made Medicaid expansion central to his bid for governor, saying it would provide health insurance to 400,000 needy Virginians, create thousands of jobs and provide the state with a $2 billion a year windfall. Some Republicans say his push to expand the health-care program could lead to something less appealing: a government shutdown. "I will not sign a budget in Virginia unless it includes the Medicaid expansion," McAuliffe said this summer in an interview with AARP. ... Given overwhelming opposition to expansion in the GOP-dominated House of Delegates, that campaign promise amounts to a threat to hold the state budget hostage to McAuliffe's Medicaid goal, some Republicans say (Vozzella, 9/14).

And in other state Medicaid news -

The Orlando Sentinel: Lack Of Medicaid Expansion Puts Some Floridians In New Doughnut Hole
Nearly 1 million Floridians will fall through a large doughnut hole next month when the health insurance exchange — a key element in the Affordable Care Act — opens. The unintended coverage gap in the new health-care law will put a large group of uninsured residents right in the middle — not earning enough to qualify for tax credits available through the exchange, but earning too much to qualify for Medicaid (Jameson, 9/13).

The Columbus Dispatch: Medicaid Initiative Gets First OK
A coalition pushing to expand Medicaid coverage in Ohio moved a step closer to forcing the General Assembly to approve the proposal or placing it before voters on the statewide ballot. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine yesterday certified the petition for the proposed "Access to Healthcare Act." DeWine announced supporters had submitted the required 1,000 signatures from registered Ohio voters and deemed a summary of the proposal to be "fair and truthful" (Candisky, 9/14). 

The Columbus Dispatch: Medicaid Changes Are Tops On Ohio Lawmakers' To-Do List
The ongoing debate over Medicaid expansion and reform will be front and center when Ohio lawmakers return to action this fall, but it will hardly be the only issue. Both the House and Senate have spent time this summer working on Medicaid changes, after Republicans rejected Gov. John Kasich's proposal to expand Medicaid coverage to about 275,000 low-income Ohioans, bringing $13 billion in federal money to Ohio over seven years. ... Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, is working to clarify some issues with the federal government, particularly the ability for Ohio to make future Medicaid changes if the feds fail to uphold their funding commitment, said spokesman John McClelland (Siegel, 9/16).

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Petition Effort To Get Medicaid Expansion Law For Ohio Clears First Hurdle
Attorney General Mike DeWine today certified the summary of a proposed law that would expand Medicaid in Ohio to cover the working poor, clearing the way for the group petitioning for the law to collect nearly 115,600 signatures needed to get it before the General Assembly (Higgs, 9/13). 

Lexington Herald Leader: Newly Eligible Medicaid Members Can Choose From Anthem, Humana Or Passport
The state has signed contracts with three Medicaid managed care companies to serve Kentuckians who will be newly eligible for Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act, officials said Friday. Starting Oct. 1, people in 104 Kentucky counties who are newly eligible for Medicaid can choose Anthem, Humana or Passport as their Medicaid provider for coverage effective Jan. 1, 2014, according to a news release from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (Spears, 9/13). 

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