A selection of health policy stories from Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, Minnesota, Florida and Georgia.
Bloomberg: Jails Enroll Inmates In Obamacare To Pass Hospital Costs To U.S.
Being arrested in Chicago for, say, drug possession or assault gets you sent to the Cook County Jail to be fingerprinted, photographed and X-rayed. You’ll also get help applying for health insurance. At least six states and counties from Maryland to Oregon’s Multnomah are getting inmates coverage under Obamacare and its expansion of Medicaid, the federal and state health-care program for the poor (Niquette, 2/6).
Minnesota Public Radio: Disability Care Funding Re-Tool Breeds Anxiety
Minnesota is starting to overhaul its system for determining how to direct $1.7 billion toward caring for people with disabilities so they can live more independently. For many years, calculating those rates has been the task of Minnesota's counties. But that led to a patchwork system with 87 different ways for setting rates, said Loren Colman, assistant commissioner of the state Department of Human Services. He said some providers were paid more than others, depending on where the recipient lived (Yuen, 2/6).
The Lund Report: Health Committee Approves Basic Health Plan Study On First Day Of Session
The drive toward a Basic Health Plan for working-class Oregonians leaped over its first hurdle, as House Bill 4109 passed out of the House Health Committee 7-1 on the first day of the 2014 session. HB 4109 calls for the Oregon Health Authority to study the option of a “Basic Health Plan” for Oregonians who earn less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level but don’t qualify for the state’s Medicaid program, the Oregon Health Plan (Gray, 2/4).
Health News Florida: Long-Term Care A Lifeline For Poor
Milagros Medina rents a room in a quiet subdivision on the outskirts of Lakeland. At 68, her arthritis, high blood pressure and chronic back pain are not going away. And she doesn’t want to end up in a nursing home. This retiree who likes being called Miss Millie tries to keep going by getting help with the chores most people take for granted. She says without financial help from Florida’s Medicaid program, she couldn’t afford it. And her health would suffer (Shedden, 2/6).
Georgia Health News: Community Service Boards May Get New Oversight
The 26 community boards that offer services to Georgians with behavioral health problems and developmental disabilities would face new oversight under a state Senate bill introduced this week. The legislation follows recent trouble connected with one such community service board in Coastal Georgia. A September state report on Gateway Behavioral Health Services last year said its operation was riddled with financial irregularities and management problems. The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) took control of Gateway last year, firing its CEO and asking its chairman to resign (Miller, 2/5).