Healthcare News February 22, 2013

  • Report: Jeb Bush told Fla. GOP to reject Medicaid expansion

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) told statehouse Republicans they should reject the Medicaid expansion that Gov. Rick Scott (R) has now endorsed, according to a report at National Review Online (NRO).

    Bush addressed Medicaid during a visit earlier this month that was primarily centered on education reform, NRO reported.

    “He said that rejecting the Obamacare expansion was good policy, and told them to come up with some conservative alternatives,” a source told the magazine.

  • USDA bars cash refunds for food stamp purchases

    The Obama administration is taking additional steps to crack down on cash payments for food stamps. 

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Thursday announced it would take action against the “bad actors” who abuse the program by extending the legal definition of “trafficking” to include indirect ways of receiving cash for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

    It is already illegal to sell SNAP benefits directly for cash, but the new rules would also bar cash refunds for products purchased with food stamps.

  • Insurers: Cuts to Medicare Advantage will hit poor, minorities

    Cuts to Medicare Advantage will disproportionately hurt poor seniors and minorities, the health insurance industry said Thursday.

    America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) has pushed back hard against a proposed cut to private Medicare Advantage plans. The Obama administration proposed the 2 percent cut late last week.

    AHIP argued Thursday that Medicare Advantage isn’t only popular with seniors, but especially with low-income and minority seniors. 

  • HHS: Most states on track with health law’s technical demands

    Thirty-five states will be ready with new healthcare eligibility and enrollment systems by Jan. 1 of next year, according to a new federal report.

    The Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General surveyed states in March and April 2012 about their readiness to comply with a variety of technical requirements under President Obama’s healthcare law.

    These requirement include simple, streamlined application systems for Medicaid, CHIP and the healthcare law’s new insurance exchanges.

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