Health Policy news looks at exchanges, Medicaid expansion decisions



ProPublica’s Tracy Weber and Charles Ornstein, also AHCJ’s president, lay out in maps how various Health Policy mandates will play out and which states will participate. They find that “The maps here show the lack of consensus on two key parts of the act: Creating insurance exchanges and expanding Medicaid.” By Nov. 16, states have to submit plans to create an insurance exchange or decide to have the federal government run the exchange.

Jason Millman of Politico writes about the looming deadline to set up exchanges and decide whether to accept an expansion of Medicaid.” So far, just 13 states and the District of Columbia have told HHS they plan to control their own exchange.” Millman reports that many questions about implementation remain to be answered: “Leading up to the election, the Obama administration has sat on key rules governing exchanges, the benefits that health plans must cover, employer requirements and the Medicaid expansion.“

The Associated Press’ Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar details which states are on track to set up their own exchanges, which have decided not to do so and which states are planning to expand Medicaid programs. He reports that Republicans are asking for cuts to the health care law or money-saving delays in its implementation but Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., says that isn’t likely: “I think Democrats are increasingly emboldened about the health care act,” Daschle said. “The president won re-election partly by defending it. There is a new dynamic around the health care effort.”

AHCJ webcastFor more about what to watch for in state’s decisions on exchanges, as well as decisions on essential benefits packages and Medicaid expansion, see the AHCJ webcast “The state countdown: Fate of exchanges after the election.“ Moderated by AHCJ Health Policy topic leader, it featured three experts who are doing hands-on work in the states.

Update: Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report features a number of articles forecasting the next steps in Health Policy implementation and activities in various states.

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