A quick update from the post earlier this week on potential Medicaid expansion in 2015.
- Healthy PA was approved yesterday with a launch date of 1.1.15.
- Tennessee is making noises about seeking a waiver along the lines of either Healthy PA or the Arkansas private option model. Tennessee has the local examples of Kynect in Kentucky and Arkansas so the special snowflake excuse does not fly.
The Tennessean reported that Gov. Bill Haslam (R) said Thursday that Tennessee would aim to submit a Medicaid expansion plan to the Department of Health and Human Services “some time this fall.” The program would cover more than 150,000 low-income residents in the state…
Haslam has floated a “private option” plan, using Medicaid dollars to pay for private coverage, as has been done in Arkansas and Iowa. Other pieces of the Tennessee plan could include co-payments and incentives for healthy behavior, based on the governor’s past public comments.
- Utah is doing something about expansion. The goal is to get a plan to the state legislature this fall. The extremes of the debate is hope that charity care will be sufficient to solve the uninsured and underserved problem (if it was, Obamacare never would have been needed) to a private option waiver. The big challenge is Utah wants a work requirement and HHS won’t tie work to medical care. HHS shot down the same type of requirement with Healthy PA, so they will continue to shoot it down in Utah.
- My read on Virginia is that if Arkansas can cobble together a 75% supermajority with large Republican majorities, Virginia can find 20% of the Senate Republican caucus and 40-50% of the House Republican caucus to defect for the good guys on this one. I could be totally wrong, but that is how my read is being informed.
My gut feeling is that there will be another three or four states that will want to get a waiver application in sometime between December and March of next year for launches by 9/1/15 as the political window is open for apostate Republicans to avoid getting primaried.