State Medicaid Programs – Kentucky, Kansas

Medicaid and Work Requirements

  • Work for it. What Trump’s tough new Medicaid rules mean., By Benjy Sarlin, February 20, 2018, NBC News: “Every day that Steve Olshewsky can convince himself to get out of bed and face the world is a small victory in his eyes. After a series of panic attacks forced him out of work in 2009, Olshewsky returned to his hometown to recover with family. He’s made great strides since then, thanks to medication and his work at Participation Station, a peer-run outpatient clinic for serious mental illness. There, he sits in on group sessions, teaches tai chi to members, and talks clients through rough days on the clinic phone line. But Olshewsky, who pays for his prescriptions through Medicaid, could soon have to prove he deserves to keep his coverage under a new set of restrictions on able-bodied Medicaid recipients. The Trump administration approved the rules in January through a waiver program that allows states to experiment with changes to Medicaid…”
  • Should Medicaid come with work requirements? Ohio says yes, By Kaitlin Schroeder, February 20, 2018, Dayton Daily News: “Ohio for the first time is seeking federal approval to create job requirements as a condition to qualify for Medicaid. Most Ohio residents enrolled through the expansion of Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for the poor, are already working or would be exempt because of things like their age, disability or care taking responsibilities…”

Medicaid Work Requirements

  • Trump’s historic Medicaid shift goes beyond work requirements, By Michael Ollove, February 16, 2018, Stateline: “Requiring able-bodied adults to work for their Medicaid is just part of the Trump administration’s drive to remake the decades-old health insurance program for the poor. The administration signaled late last year that it welcomes state-based ideas to retool Medicaid and ‘help individuals live up to their highest potential.’ At least 10 states have requested waivers that would allow them to impose work requirements and other obligations…”
  • Bevin’s Medicaid changes actually mean Kentucky will pay more to provide health care, By Deborah Yetter, February 14, 2018, Louisville Courier Journal: “Within Gov. Matt Bevin’s complex plan to reshape the state Medicaid program to cut costs and hold people accountable is this fact that may surprise some Kentuckians: Under Bevin’s plan, it actually will cost Kentucky more to provide health coverage to people affected by the Medicaid changes than if the state did nothing…”

Medicaid Work Requirements

  • Medicaid bill would require ‘able-bodied’ Iowa adults to work or study, By Tony Leys, February 7, 2018, Des Moines Register: “In order to qualify for Medicaid health insurance, ‘able-bodied’ Iowans would have to work at a job or attend school or job training under a bill introduced recently in the Legislature. Under the bill, Iowa would join several other states in seeking federal permission to implement such work requirements on Medicaid, which is jointly financed and run by federal and state governments…”
  • Medicaid work requirement wouldn’t change much in Louisiana, February 7, 2018, New Orleans Times Picayune: “Even though requiring Medicaid recipients to work is one of the few areas in which Gov. John Bel Edwards and Republican legislators agree, experts say implementing the rules may not have much of an impact…”

Suburban Poverty and Access to Health Care

Upsurge of suburban poor discover health care’s nowhere land, By Elaine Korry, February 9, 2018, Washington Post: “The promise of cheaper housing brought Shari Castaneda to Palmdale, Calif., in northern Los Angeles County, about nine years ago. The single mom with five kids had been struggling to pay the bills. ‘I kept hearing that the rent was a lot cheaper out here, so I moved,’ she said. But when she developed health problems — losing her balance and falling — Castaneda found fewer care options in her new town. Unable to find local specialty care, she traveled nearly 65 miles to a public hospital in Los Angeles, where doctors discovered a tumor on her spine…”

Kids Count Report – Indiana

  • 2018 Kids Count: Ind. ranks 28th overall, 41st for infant deaths, By Jill Sheridan, February 5, 2018, Indiana Public Media: “The 24th annual Indiana Youth Institute’s Kids Count Data Book was released Monday. The data tool measures the well-being of Hoosier children. Overall Indiana ranks 28th nationally, but near the bottom in several categories…”
  • Achievement gap still present in Indiana schools, By Caele Pemberton, February 4, 2018, Kokomo Tribune: “There is still a wide achievement gap in Indiana schools. This is according to data compiled by the Indiana Youth Institute, which each year releases data on Hoosier children. The 2018 Kids Count Data Book, supported and coordinated by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, looks at a range of factors affecting childhood well-being in Indiana, including economic, health, safety and education factors…”
  • Opioid use breaking up families, By Matthew LeBlanc, February 5, 2018, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: “The opioid epidemic is expanding to affect the children of people who use the drugs, according to the Indiana Youth Institute. The 2018 Kids Count Data Book released today by the Indianapolis nonprofit says more children are being removed from homes where parents are drug users…”

State Medicaid Programs – Indiana, Kentucky

  • Indiana’s brand of Medicaid drops 25,000 people for failure to pay premiums, By Phil Galewitz, February 1, 2018, National Public Radio: “As the Trump administration moves to give states more flexibility in running Medicaid, advocates for the poor are keeping a close eye on Indiana to see whether such conservative ideas improve or harm care. Indiana in 2015 implemented some of the most radical changes seen to the state-federal program that covers nearly 1 in 4 low-income Americans — including charging some adults a monthly premium and locking out for six months some of those who don’t pay their premiums…”
  • Indiana wins federal permission to adopt Medicaid work requirements, By Amy Goldstein, February 2, 2018, Washington Post: “Indiana has become the second state to win permission from the Trump administration to require certain low-income residents on Medicaid to work, study or perform public service to qualify for the safety-net health insurance…”
  • Are Bevin’s new Medicaid rules ‘all about putting up roadblocks’ for poor people?, By John Cheves, February 2, 2018, Lexington Herald-Leader: “Ronnie Stewart spent years as a state social worker. Given his experience in government bureaucracy, Sewart said he understands why Gov. Matt Bevin is going to make many of Kentucky’s Medicaid recipients pay monthly premiums and regularly report their work and income status…”

Medicaid Transportation Services

No car, no care? Medicaid transport program faces cuts in some states, By Jonel Aleccia, January 27, 2018, National Public Radio: “Unable to walk or talk, barely able to see or hear, 5-year-old Maddie Holt of Everett, Wash., waits in her wheelchair for a ride to the hospital. The 27-pound girl is dressed in polka-dot pants and a flowered shirt for the trip, plus a red headband with a sparkly bow, two wispy blond ponytails poking out on top of her head. Her parents can’t drive her. They both have disabling vision problems; and, besides, they can’t afford a car. When Maddie was born in 2012 with the rare and usually fatal genetic condition called Zellweger syndrome, Meagan and Brandon Holt, then in their early 20s, were plunged into a world of overwhelming need — and profound poverty…”

Medicaid Work Requirements

  • Medicaid patients sue over Trump administration’s new work requirement policy, By Noam N. Levey, January 24, 2018, Los Angeles Times: “Kicking off what will likely be a long legal battle over the Trump administration’s push to reshape Medicaid, 15 low-income Kentucky residents sued the federal government Wednesday, challenging the recent move to allow states to impose work requirements on some Medicaid enrollees. The lawsuit — spearheaded by three public-interest legal groups — accuses the federal Department of Health and Human Services of violating the core purpose of the half-century-old government health plan for the poor by granting a request from Kentucky to impose the work mandate…”
  • Kentucky’s new idea for Medicaid access: Pass health literacy course, By Austin Frakt, January 22, 2018, New York Times: “If you’re on Medicaid in Kentucky and are kicked off the rolls for failing to meet the state’s new work requirements, Kentucky will be offering a novel way to reactivate your medical coverage: a health or financial literacy course you must pass…”
  • Work requirements may prompt more states to expand Medicaid, By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar (AP), January 23, 2018, Seattle Times: “In an ironic twist, the Trump administration’s embrace of work requirements for low-income people on Medicaid is prompting lawmakers in some conservative states to resurrect plans to expand health care for the poor. Trump’s move has been widely criticized as threatening the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. But if states follow through, more Americans could get coverage…”
  • Missouri is looking at work requirements for Medicaid, By Sky Chadde, January 26, 2017, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Missouri appears headed toward requiring Medicaid recipients find jobs to receive their benefits. On Jan. 11, President Donald Trump’s administration announced it would allow states to implement work requirements for adults under the age of 65 on Medicaid who don’t have disabilities or who are pregnant. The next day, Kentucky was granted a waiver to its Medicaid program that allowed work requirements…”

Maternal Mortality – Texas

Dangerous deliveries, By Marissa Evans and Chris Essig, January 16, 2018, Texas Tribune: “In the photos flashing on the projector screen, Michelle Zavala had a look of serenity. In one, her eyes were closed as she smiled with her newborn daughter Clara nestled under her chin. Another showed her kissing her husband Chris on vacation. Another captured her laughing while stomping grapes at a vineyard, radiating the positivity that people loved about her. Below the screen, Michelle lay in a casket, surrounded by bouquets of flowers. The Pflugerville woman died in July — just nine days after giving birth to Clara — from a blood clot in her heart. She was 35. Across the United States, maternal mortality — when a mother dies from pregnancy-related complications while pregnant or within 42 days of giving birth — jumped by 27 percent between 2000 and 2014, according to a 2016 study published in the medical journal Obstetrics and Gynecology…”

State Children’s Health Insurance Program

  • After months in limbo for children’s health insurance, huge relief over deal, By Selena Simmons-Duffin, January 23, 2018, National Public Radio: “When parts of the federal government ground to halt this past weekend, Linda Nablo, who oversees the Children’s Health Insurance Program in Virginia, had two letters drafted and ready to go out to the families of 68,000 children insured through the program, depending on what happened…”
  • Short-term spending agreement provides longer-term relief for CHIP, By Amy Goldstein, January 22, 2018, Washington Post: “The short-term spending plan allowing the government to reopen solves a funding crisis in a public health insurance program for children of working-class families that is popular with Republicans and Democrats alike, but has been ensnared for months in partisan budget fights…”

Medicaid Work Requirements – Kentucky

The nation’s first Medicaid work rules loom, and many fear losing health coverage, By Amy Goldstein, January 19, 2018, Washington Post: “Gov. Matt Bevin is exultant as his administration sets out to transform Medicaid. Only a week ago, he won federal permission to pursue a goal that has animated his two years in office: making hundreds of thousands of poor Kentuckians hold jobs or engage in their communities in other ways to keep their health insurance. It is an approach never tried by any state, and it will also transform lives…”

Kids Count Report – New Mexico

  • NM ranked 49th in child well-being, By Rick Nathanson, January 15, 2018, Albuquerque Journal: “A persistently high child poverty rate in New Mexico continues to offset slight improvements in some indicators of child well-being, according to the 2017 New Mexico Kids Count Data Book, just released by New Mexico Voices for Children and timed for the opening day of the state Legislature.  The state rates 49th overall in child well-being, with only Mississippi faring worse…”
  • Quality of life for N.M. children, teens takes tumble, By Robert Nott, January 16, 2018, Santa Fe New Mexican: “Just days after a national study ranking New Mexico as the worst state to raise a family, a new report says that more of the state’s children are living in poverty, more children are going without health insurance and more teens and children are living in single-parent households than a year ago…”

Safety Net Hospitals

‘Safety net’ hospitals face federal budget cuts, By Michael Ollove, January 16, 2018, Stateline: “A double whammy of federal budget cuts might force many hospitals, particularly those that serve poor or rural communities, to scale back services or even shut their doors. The $3.6 billion in cuts this year — $2 billion from a program that sends federal dollars to hospitals that serve a high percentage of Medicaid or uninsured patients, and $1.6 billion from a drug discount program — will have the greatest effect on so-called safety net hospitals that provide medical care for all comers, no matter their ability to pay…”

Medicaid Work Requirements

  • Trump administration opens door to states imposing Medicaid work requirements, By Amy Goldstein, January 11, 2018, Washington Post: “The Trump administration issued guidance to states on Thursday that will allow them to compel people to work or prepare for jobs in order to receive Medicaid for the first time in the half-century history of this fundamental piece of the nation’s social safety net…”
  • Trump administration to allow states to require some Medicaid patients to work to be eligible, By Noam N. Levey, January 11, 2018, Los Angeles Times: “The Trump administration cleared the way Thursday for states to impose work requirements on many Americans who depend on Medicaid, the mammoth government health insurance program for the poor…”
  • Millions of Medicaid recipients already work, By Tami Luhby, January 10, 2018, CNN Money: “The Trump administration is about to start letting states require many Medicaid recipients to work for their benefits. But millions of Americans in the health care safety net program already have jobs…”
  • Work requirements may be just the beginning of Medicaid changes under Trump, By Mattie Quinn, January 12, 2018, Governing: “After months of speculation, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) opened the door on Thursday for states to require some low-income people to work in order to qualify for government-sponsored health insurance…”
  • How the Medicaid work requirement could backfire, By Aimee Picchi, January 12, 2018, CBS News: “For most working-age Americans, the health care system is largely tied to employers, with one big exception: Medicaid, the government insurance program for the poor, elderly and disabled…”
  • Kentucky is 1st to get OK for Medicaid work requirement, By Adam Beam (AP), January 12, 2018, Detroit News: “Kentucky became the first state to require many of its Medicaid recipients to work to receive coverage, part of an unprecedented change to the nation’s largest health insurance program under the Trump administration…”

State Children’s Health Insurance Program

Budget office cuts cost estimate of children’s insurance, By Alam Fram (AP), January 9, 2018, Connecticut Post: “Congress’ official budget analysts have eased one stumbling block to lawmakers’ fight over renewing a program that provides health insurance for nearly 9 million low-income children. The Congressional Budget Office says a Senate bill adding five years of financing to the program would cost $800 million. Previously, the analysts estimated it would cost $8.2 billion…”

Child Mortality in the US

American babies are 76 percent more likely to die in their first year than babies in other rich countries, By Christopher Ingraham, January 9, 2018, Washington Post: “American babies are 76 percent more likely to die before they turn a year old than babies in other rich countries, and American children who survive infancy are 57 percent more likely to die before adulthood, according to a sobering new study published in the journal Health Affairs…”

Medicaid Expansion and Rural Hospitals

Hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid less likely to close, By John Daley, January 8, 2018, National Public Radio: “The expansion of Medicaid helps rural hospitals stay afloat in states like Colorado, which added 400,000 people to the health insurance program under the Affordable Care Act. Hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid were about 6 times less likely to close than hospitals in non-expansion states, according to a study by researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus…”

State Children’s Health Insurance Program

  • With children’s health program running dry, parents beg Congress: ‘Do the right thing’, By Robert Pear, December 19, 2017, New York Times: “With more and more states running out of money for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, parents took their case to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, pleading with Congress to provide money before their sons and daughters lose health care and coverage. But the program, known as CHIP, which insures nearly nine million children, took a back seat as lawmakers raced to pass a $1.5 trillion tax cut. CHIP’s fate, it appears, is now caught up in a messy fight over an end-of-the-year deal on spending that must be struck by Friday to avert a government shutdown…”
  • Kids’ health insurance hangs in balance, and parents wonder what’s wrong with Congress, By Robert Samuels, December 21, 2017, Washington Post: “The lingering uncertainty in Congress over the fate of the Children’s Health Insurance Program has left Ashlee and Levi Smith torn between optimism and anxiety. As the parents of two young children who have relied on the government-backed health-care plan, the Smiths are unsure whether they should stretch their finances to put their boys, 3 and 3 months, on a private plan — or have faith that a polarized Congress will work it out…”
  • 2 million kids will lose CHIP coverage right away, report finds, By Maggie Fox, December 21, 2017, NBC News: “Nearly 2 million children will lose health coverage starting next month if Congress doesn’t renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by Friday, a new report projects…”

Community Health Clinics

Congress won’t act; Now community health centers weigh closures, By Michael Ollove, December 18, 2017, Stateline: “Unless Congress provides funding before the end of the year, many of the nation’s 9,800 community health clinics will face service cuts or closure — potentially crippling a vital part of the health system that provides care in poor and underserved communities across every state. And the fallout could mean the loss of more than 160,000 jobs and a hit to state economies of more than $15 billion as staff cutbacks and layoffs ripple through the country. California alone could lose up to 15,841 jobs and nearly $1.7 billion next year…”