Supporters Of Medicaid Expansion Fight To Be Heard In Some Statehouses


Topics: Medicaid, Politics, Health Costs, Health Reform, States

Apr 01, 2013

Mississippi House Democrats blocked passage of the state’s Medicaid budget Sunday to force a vote on expanding the program, while supporters and critics do battle in Missouri, Montana and Arkansas.

Clarion Ledger: Mississippi House Democrats Block Medicaid Budget
House Democrats on Sunday night blocked passage of the $840 million Medicaid budget, a move to try to force a vote on expanding the program and to block Gov. Phil Bryant from running it by executive order. “The federal government is offering venture capital to expand the largest industry we’ve got in this state, and we can’t even get a vote and debate on it,” said Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville. “So we’re doing what we have to do. We are going to have an up-or-down vote on Medicaid expansion — it may be in a special session — or we are not going to have Medicaid” (Pender, 3/31).

The Associated Press: FACT CHECK: Corbett And The Medicaid Expansion
For now, (Pennsylvania) Gov. Tom Corbett has decided against embracing an expansion of Medicaid that could extend taxpayer-paid health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of low-income adult Pennsylvanians. The 2010 Affordable Care Act pledges to shoulder the lion’s share of the cost of the expansion, but Corbett says he is still concerned about the cost to Pennsylvania taxpayers and cautions that the federal government cannot always be trusted to deliver on its funding promises to states. Here is a look at the validity of some of his claims about the Medicaid expansion (Levy, 3/31).

The Associated Press/Kansas City Star: Medicaid Debate In Missouri Gets Hyperbolic
If Missouri expands Medicaid health coverage for lower-income adults, could it create a crisis for public schools? If Missouri fails to expand Medicaid, could it result in millions of Missourians‘ tax dollars going to health care in other states? In the tense Medicaid debate at the Missouri Capitol, both assertions have been put forth as plain facts by opponents or supporters of a plan that could add as many as 300,000 adults to the Medicaid rolls. But they might best be labeled as hyperbole (Lieb, 3/31).

Helena Independent Record: Democrats Vow To Pass Medicaid Expansion As Republicans Say It Will Blow State Budget
Last week, Republicans on two legislative committees used their majorities to kill Democrat-sponsored bills to expand the program starting in 2014. Gov. Steve Bullock and fellow Democrats vow to keep searching for a way to pass the expansion, although it could be difficult, as long as Republican majorities at the Legislature oppose it (Dennison, 3/31).

The Associated Press: Health Care, Tax Cuts Issues Colliding (AP Analysis)
How do you convince Republicans who took over the Arkansas Legislature by vowing to fight “Obamacare” to support government-subsidized health insurance? The same way you convince a Democratic governor who has said his budget can’t include more tax cuts to agree to a large package of reductions. As Arkansas lawmakers approach what could be the final weeks of this year’s session, it’s becoming clearer that proposals to expand health insurance to low-income workers and to cut $100 million in taxes are colliding (DeMillo, 3/31).

Baltimore Sun: Health Reform’s Changes Stir Worries As They Take Shape In Md.
State lawmakers put finishing touches last week on plans to apply federal health care reforms in Maryland come Jan. 1. But who becomes newly insured — and at what cost —still worries stakeholders as the state speeds toward becoming one of the first to adopt a revamped system. Under legislation passed by the House of Delegates and Senate, more low-income Marylanders would qualify for government-funded health care through Medicaid, and an existing tax on health insurers would sustain a new insurance marketplace once federal support wanes (Dance, 3/31).

This is part of Kaiser Health News‘ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

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Aetna Acquires Additional Stake In Medicare And Medicaid Business


Topics: Marketplace, Insurance, Medicare, Medicaid

Aug 21, 2012

Aetna’s plan to buy insurer Coventry will add 5 million customers to its rolls.

The Washington Post: Aetna To Buy Bethesda-Based Coventry For $7.3 Billion
Aetna announced Monday plans to acquire Bethesda-based Coventry Health Care in a deal valued at $5.7 billion, part of the managed-care giant’s effort to beef up its Medicare and Medicaid programs. The purchase comes as insurance companies race to position themselves for a broad expansion of health-care coverage slated to take effect in 2014, following the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the comprehensive reforms supported by the Obama administration (Bhattarai, 8/20).

The New York Times: Aetna Shares Rise As Investors Applaud Coventry Deal
As it turns out, Aetna’s shareholders appear to fully support the insurer’s plan to take part in the consolidation sweeping its industry. Shares of Aetna jumped as much as 5 percent on Monday after the company announced its $5.7 billion planned takeover of Coventry Health Care, and in late morning trading they were still up 4 percent, at $39.56 (de la Merced, 8/20).

The Wall Street Journal: Aetna To Acquire Coventry Health
The transaction also will lift Hartford-based Aetna’s commercial membership. Coventry — which has struggled recently with high costs in Kentucky’s Medicaid market — has more than five million members overall, including people who get health coverage through their employers, through the Medicare program for the elderly and through the Medicaid plan for the poor (Kamp, 8/20).

Los Angeles Times: Health Care Giant Aetna Acquires A Medicare And Medicaid Insurer
Health insurance giant Aetna Inc., trying to capitalize on growing enrollment in Medicare and Medicaid, has agreed to acquire Coventry Health Care Inc. for about $5.7 billion in cash and stock. The Hartford, Conn., company and nation’s third-largest health insurer said the Coventry deal will allow it to add more than 5 million new members, many of them in faster-growing Medicare Advantage and Medicaid managed-care plans (Terhune, 8/20).

Marketplace: Aetna Buys Coventry Health Care In A Medicaid Land Grab (Audio)
It’s time to talk about another giant health care deal. Insurers buying insurers, to be specific. In July, WellPoint snapped up Amerigroup for $5 billion. And today, Aetna announced its swallowing rival Coventry Health Care for $5.7 billion (Gorenstein, 8/20).

This is part of Kaiser Health News‘ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

English: The headquarters of Aetna Español: La...

English: The headquarters of Aetna Español: La sede de Aetna 中文: Aetna的总部 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)