Despite appeals from traditional allies such as local hospitals, chambers of commerce and business leaders, Republicans in Virginia's House of Delegates remain firm in their stand against expansion. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania's request to set up a modified expansion is moving into a negotiation phase with federal officials, and union members take the fight to voters in Florida.
The Washington Post: Va. Republicans Aren't Blinking In Showdown Over Medicaid Expansion
Virginia Republicans were supposed to be squirming by now. For months, their opposition to expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act has put them at odds with some traditional allies in the business world. Hospitals, the state chamber of commerce and corporate leaders have been calling, writing, visiting and buttonholing, pushing what they call "the business case" for expanding coverage to thousands of uninsured under the health care law, with the federal government promising to pay most of the cost. Gov. Terry McAuliffe and other Democrats who favor expansion have been betting on that pressure to sway Republicans (Vozzella, 4/13).
The Associated Press: Medicaid Expansion Debate Good For Insurers
Some of the biggest health insurance companies in the country are poised to benefit from the debate over expanding Medicaid in Virginia, regardless of its outcome. If Gov. Terry McAuliffe and the Democratically controlled Virginia Senate prevail, the state will expand Medicaid eligibility to about 400,000 low-income residents. The money to insure them -- hundreds of millions of dollars a year -- will be paid by the federal government to private insurance companies. Understandably, those insurers strongly favor this option (4/13).
The Associated Press: Corbett Plan Will Test Federal Agency On Medicaid
Billions of dollars, better health care for Pennsylvania's poor and election-year politics are riding on Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's bid to bring Medicaid expansion money to the state under the 2010 federal health care law. ... The federal government's public comment period ended Friday, and negotiations are expected to begin this month on Corbett's 124-page plan submitted in February. The outcome is anything but certain (Levy, 4/13).
Miami Herald: Union Appeals To Voters In The Medicaid 'Coverage Gap'
The state health care workers' union has a new strategy in its fight to expand Medicaid coverage: reaching out to voters "who've been screwed out of health care coverage by their representative's refusal to act." SEIU Florida will be knocking on doors this weekend in four state House districts (McGrory and Mitchell, 4/11).
Also, a Minneapolis paper examines efforts there to sign up people for subsidized coverage --
The Star Tribune: Minnesota's Uninsured Get Public Aid At Historic Levels
On a recent weekday evening, Ibrahim Hassan was pacing the narrow corridor outside a Somali mosque in south Minneapolis, buoyantly shaking hands and waving like a politician at a campaign stop. His mission: To sign up every eligible uninsured person he met for public health coverage through the state's MNsure website. His mobile "office" consisted of a foldout table, a laptop and a small sign that read, "We can help you" in Somali and "Obama Care." Though much attention has focused on the March 31 deadline to buy private health insurance -- and the consumer frenzy that resulted -- federal health reform and the debut of MNsure have also led to a historic surge in the number of Minnesotans enrolling in public programs (Serres, 4/13).