May 5, 2014

Medicaid Expansion Debates Continue.

Several states are continuing to consider the possibility of Medicaid expansion, while states with such programs in place are evaluating their effectiveness.
In Washington state, the AP (5/4, Corte) reported that the state’s expanded Medicaid program has enrolled more people than anticipated. Now, according to the AP, “questions remain about whether there will be enough doctors to serve the influx of newly insured low-income patients.” A related AP (5/5, Corte) article reports that the state is considering “a statewide survey of doctors this summer to see if the federal health law’s temporary bump in Medicaid payments to doctors was an incentive that helped keep or add providers.”
The Charleston (SC) Post and Courier (5/3, Beahm) reported on the plight of Allendale County Hospital, which is cutting back on services. According to the Post and Courier, “the state’s decision to reject federal money to expand Medicaid eligibility through the Affordable Care Act means the hospital will continue to treat poor, uninsured patients who don’t qualify for the low-income health insurance program and can’t afford to pay their hospital bills.” That will have a negative effect on the hospital’s profits.
In Virginia, The Hill (5/2, Al-Faruque) reported in continuing coverage that Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) is considering non-legislative options for expanding the commonwealth’s Medicaid program.
In Pennsylvania, the Erie (PA) Times-News (5/5) reports on the continuing legislative battle over Medicaid expansion.