Medicaid Expansion in the News

The Associated Press published a story on Governor Rick Perry’s stance against implementing the new health care reform law. An excerpt:

Texas has about 6 million uninsured residents, which comes out to nearly a quarter of its population — higher than any other state. Both Republicans and Democrats agree that’s too many, but they disagree on how to get that number down.

In a July letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Perry said he opposed the Affordable Care Act because it would “make Texas an appendage of the federal government when it comes to health care.” He also vehemently opposes expanding the number of people eligible for Medicaid — to reduce the number of uninsured — because it would eventually require Texas to spend more money on the program.

The Kaiser Family Foundation released an analysis that purports to show “modest” costs for states to implement the new law. An excerpt of the press release:

The new, updated analysis…shows that if all states were to expand their programs, state Medicaid spending nationally would rise by $76 billion from 2013 to 2022, an increase of less than 3 percent, while federal Medicaid spending would increase by $952 billion, or 26 percent. As a result, an additional 21.3 million individuals could gain Medicaid coverage by 2022 and, together with other coverage provisions of the ACA, that would cut the uninsured by almost half (48%).

McKnight’s reported on a letter from CMS and CHIP Services director Cindy Mann to state Medicaid directors on expansion. An excerpt of McKnight’s:

The minimum benefits offered must equal four benchmarks set in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. They are the Standard Blue Cross/Blue Shield preferred provider option offered through the Federal Employees Health Benefit program; coverage similar to what is provided to state employees; the commercial HMO with the largest insured commercial, non-Medicaid enrollment in the state; and Health and Human Services secretary-approved coverage.