Healthcare News December 11, 2012

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: HHS says Medicaid expansion must be all or nothing

    The Obama administration on Monday put the kibosh on talk of a partial Medicaid expansion under President Obama’s healthcare law. Republican governors wanted to know if they could receive full federal funding for the Medicaid expansion without raising eligibility all the way to 133 percent of the federal poverty line.

    That’s just not possible, at least before 2017, the Health and Human Services Department said. The law says the federal government will cover the entire cost of the expansion through 2016, and it doesn’t allow for a partial expansion at that rate, according to a document HHS released Monday.

    “The answer is disappointing for many governors who hoped the Administration was more serious about providing states flexibility,” said Mike Schrimpf, communications director for the Republican Governors Association.

  • Poll: Most want feds to defer to state pot laws

    Sixty-four percent say the federal government should not enforce anti-marijuana laws in states where residents have legalized the drug.

  • White House drops support for major Medicaid cut

    The Obama administration backed away Monday from roughly $100 billion in Medicaid savings it had proposed during deficit-reduction talks earlier this year.

    The move comes as liberals have pressed the White House to take Medicaid off the table in negotiations surrounding the “fiscal cliff” — and it will make any agreement on entitlement spending about $100 billion harder to reach.

    The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) said the Obama administration no longer supports a plan to combine the various calculations used to determine the federal government’s share of Medicaid spending. 

  • HHS approves 6 state-run healthcare exchanges

    The Obama administration on Monday approved six states’ plans to run their own insurance exchanges.

    Officials from the Health and Human Services Department said 14 states and Washington, D.C., have submitted plans to run their own exchanges. HHS approved exchange plans Monday in six states — Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Oregon and Washington.

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