Trade Resources Industry Views The Wall Street Journal Examines The Gap Created by Some States

The Wall Street Journal Examines The Gap Created by Some States

The Wall Street Journal examines the gap created by some states deciding not to expand their Medicaid programs and what that decision means for hospitals' bottom lines. Also, Republican lawmakers consider "bailouts" for hospitals after they decided not to expand Medicaid. In the meantime, Arkansas' lawmakers get ready to debate the state's Medicaid experiment.

The Wall Street Journal: Millions Trapped In Health Law Coverage Gap

The 2010 health law was meant to cover people in Mr. Maiden's income bracket by expanding Medicaid to workers earning up to the federal poverty line -- about $11,670 for a single person; more for families. People earning as much as four times the poverty line -- $46,680 for a single person -- can receive federal subsidies. But the Supreme Court in 2012 struck down the law's requirement that states expand their Medicaid coverage. Republican elected officials in 24 states, including Alabama, declined the expansion .... The decision created a gap for Mr. Maiden and others at the lowest income levels who don't qualify for Medicaid coverage under varying state rules (Weaver, 2/9). 

The Wall Street Journal: Hospitals Take Financial Hit In Failed Expansion of Medicaid

State decisions to decline federal offers to expand Medicaid costs hospitals, in addition to lower-wage workers. Hospitals backed the health care law because it promised to create new, paying customers. Instead, the failure to expand Medicaid coverage by some states not only adds fewer insured patients, it also eliminates the payments hospitals had long received to cover the cost of uninsured people they treat free (Weaver, 2/9).

The Associated Press: Republicans Debate Mini-Bailouts For Hospitals

Republican governors scored easy political points by rejecting President Barack Obama's plan to enroll more poor people in government health insurance. Now Republican leaders in Georgia and Mississippi may be bailing out hospitals that will lose funding they would have gotten from Obama's health care law. South Carolina's leaders increased payments to some hospitals in a push to improve rural health, though the extra money likely placated hospital officials who might otherwise have pressured Republicans to adopt the Democratic plan (Henry and Cassidy, 2/9).

Kaiser Health News: Arkansas' Medicaid Experiment, Key To Obamacare Expansion, On Ropes

The Arkansas' experiment, known as the "private option" marks the first large-scale attempt to enroll Medicaid recipients into the same private health insurance plans that any consumer might buy in the health law's online insurance marketplace. That's different from how Medicaid typically works where enrollees must join state-operated programs or private managed care plans designed exclusively for the poor -- and which pay doctors less, sometimes a lot less. As a result, private option enrollees like Fant will have access to a larger network of doctors and hospitals than is usually available through Medicaid (Galewitz, 2/10). Read a related Q & A with Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe.

The Associated Press: Arkansas Fiscal Session Focuses On Medicaid Expansion

There's no question among lawmakers that the compromise Medicaid expansion approved last year will be the focus as they convene this week for the third-ever fiscal session. What's up in the air is whether there's enough support to keep the so-called private option program alive -- and what will happen if the [state] abandons it (DeMillo, 2/9).

The Associated Press: No Signs Of Compromise On Va. Medicaid Expansion

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has plenty of allies in his efforts to expand Medicaid eligibility in Virginia, including the state's hospitals, insurance companies, several business organizations, liberal advocacy groups, and even some Republican state senators. But as the 2014 legislative session nears its midway point, there's no sign that the Democratic governor has made any headway winning over one key group: leaders in the GOP-controlled House of Delegates (Suderman, 2/9).

In other state Medicaid news -

The Associated Press: Suit Challenging Ariz. Gov's Medicaid Plan Tossed

A lawsuit challenging Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's Medicaid expansion plan that was filed by fellow Republicans in the state Legislature was dismissed in a ruling released Saturday, handing Brewer a major victory in her battle against conservative members of her own party. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper agreed with Brewer that the lawmakers challenging the law don't have the right to sue .... The suit was filed by the Goldwater Institute on behalf of 36 Republican legislators and several citizens, and Goldwater issued a statement saying it planned to appeal (Christie, 2/8).

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Leaving Behind Medicaid Expansion Leaves Coverage Gaps, Hospitals Short on Payments