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OPINION
August 5, 2012
Re "GOP's push to cut Medicaid is shortsighted and just plain mean," Column, Aug. 3 Just as slumlords have been sentenced by courts to actually live in the hovels they own, I'd like to see Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), who is sponsoring a bill to freeze Medicaid spending, be denied his plush congressional healthcare policy in favor of the Medicaid he claims coddles the unfortunates forced to depend on it. Put your health where your mouth is, representative, or shut up. Spencer Grant Laguna Niguel Since when is a spending freeze considered a cut?
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
February 6, 2014
Re "State aid is relief, burden," Feb. 3 Who are the supporters of national healthcare reform who "tout the expansion of Medicaid - called Medi-Cal in California - as one of the great successes of the Affordable Care Act"? Medi-Cal has been failing since its underfunded inception almost 50 years ago. Confirmation of eligibility for the program does not guarantee timely healthcare, as the number of physicians in the program is embarrassingly low. The Affordable Care Act, as with our entire dysfunctional healthcare system, guarantees delays, disappointments and, unfortunately, sometimes death to those without the means to buy better care.
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NEWS
March 28, 2012 | By David G. Savage
While most of the debate over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has focused on its requirement that most Americans have health insurance, the Supreme Court takes up another explosive issue Wednesday afternoon as the justices consider whether states can challenge the law's dramatic expansion of Medicaid. Twenty-six Republican-led states are arguing that federal pressure in the law to expand Medicaid to all low-income Americans violates states' rights. And some legal experts believe that this expansion - which is expected to provide subsidized healthcare for as many as 17 million more low-income people over the next decade - could be a ripe target for conservatives on the court.
SCIENCE
January 2, 2014 | By Monte Morin, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
An Oregon Medicaid expansion program found that low-income adults who were covered by government health insurance had visited hospital emergency rooms 40% more often than other adults. The study , published online Thursday in the journal Science , comes at a time when many states are expanding Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. While federal and state policymakers have argued that expanding Medicaid would reduce costly and inefficient use of hospital emergency rooms by increasing access to primary healthcare, the Science study suggests this is not the case.
NEWS
May 23, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Not all health insurance is created equal: Dentists are far less willing to treat children with public health insurance than they are for children with private health coverage, according to a new study. The findings, published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics, found that children on Medicaid were 38 times more likely to be denied any appointment by dentists who were not enrolled in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program -- and were still 18 times more likely to be rejected by even those dentists who did accept Medicaid insurance.
NATIONAL
June 14, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo
TUCSON - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer won a battle with state lawmakers this week, defying most other conservatives in her party to get a key component of President Obama's Medicaid expansion through the Legislature. The Arizona Senate voted Thursday to approve the measure 18 to 11. That followed approval earlier this week by the state House of Representatives. The issue had inflamed passions and divided the Legislature for weeks. Things came to a head Tuesday when Brewer called lawmakers into the Capitol in Phoenix for a surprise special session.
BUSINESS
June 20, 2010 | Liz Pulliam Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: My mom has BP stock. Currently she is moving toward applying for Medicaid to pay for nursing home expenses, and I was advised to put the stock in my name. Now I am watching her stock (and savings) plummet. It's gone from a $100,000 savings to about $40,000 currently. Do I take it out, or do you think it will come back and I should leave it alone? Answer: You may want to cash out at least some of the stock to hire a good elder law attorney who can advise you about the Medicaid look-back rules.
OPINION
March 28, 2012
The vast expansion of Medicaid in the 2010 healthcare reform law put Washington on a collision course with cash-strapped state governments, which have been scrambling to reduce the cost of the joint federal-state insurance program for the poor and disabled. That conflict reaches the Supreme Court on Wednesday, when lawyers for 24 states will seek to bar Congress from adding millions of Americans to the program's rolls. Meanwhile, the House is considering a Republican budget proposal that would cap Medicaid spending and hand over control to the states.
NATIONAL
July 14, 2012 | By Michael A. Memoli, Washington Bureau
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - America's governors have long used their semiannual gatherings to lock arms in opposition to dreaded unfunded federal mandates and emphasize a pragmatic approach to problem-solving in stark contrast to a hyperpartisan, even dysfunctional Washington. But the makings of a real divide loomed over the summer meeting of the National Governors Assn. here, as state leaders grappled with the fallout of the Supreme Court ruling that granted unexpected leeway with regard to a key component of President Obama's landmark health law: whether to accept billions of federal dollars in return for expanding coverage for the poor through Medicaid.
NATIONAL
November 17, 2010 | By Noam N. Levey, Tribune Washington Bureau
The Obama administration on Tuesday announced new initiatives to boost the quality of medical care that Americans receive, laying the foundation for what many experts think could be one of the most far-reaching benefits of the new healthcare law. The 10-year, $10-billion effort ? which proponents hope can reduce hospital-acquired infections, help ensure seniors take their medications, and more ? has garnered far less attention than the politically charged debate about repealing the law. But the quality-improvement campaign is quietly winning the support of corporate leaders, consumer groups, doctors and healthcare experts across the political spectrum.
BUSINESS
December 29, 2013 | Michael Hiltzik
This was the year that millions of Americans learned that health insurance is complicated. The landscape they discovered is ugly. Paying a premium doesn't mean your costs are over. Lower premiums mean higher deductibles, higher fees at the doctor's office, higher prescription costs. You may have to pay more to see a certain doctor or go to a certain hospital. After New Year's Day 2014, the discoveries will keep coming, when many of the newly insured use their policies for the first time.
NATIONAL
December 5, 2013 | By Timothy M. Phelps
WASHINGTON - Current and former Russian diplomats in New York claimed poverty to fraudulently collect Medicaid for their pregnant wives and children while shopping at Prada and Tiffany's and taking cruise vacations, the U.S. government charged Thursday. The Justice Department said 49 Russians or their spouses currently or formerly attached to the Russian Consulate, United Nations or trade missions illegally collected $1.5 million in benefits over about a decade in New York City. Income levels were falsified in Medicaid applications signed by senior Russian officials in what U.S. Atty.
BUSINESS
December 3, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
As the federal insurance website healthcare.gov puts its birth pangs behind it, critics of the Affordable Care Act may well need another attack point. One is already emerging: It's an assault on Medicaid, the federal-state health program that's a linchpin of the effort to expand access to coverage for the poorest Americans. We're being told that Medicaid is lousy insurance -- that many doctors won't accept Medicaid patients, that wait times for appointments are long, even that it's worse than no insurance at all !
NATIONAL
November 6, 2013 | By Maeve Reston
MONCLOVA TOWNSHIP, Ohio - State Rep. Barbara Sears is the kind of Republican the party would want to highlight these days: a woman and former business owner, fluent in health insurance issues, who has managed to repeatedly win reelection in a district where Republicans and Democrats are almost evenly divided. But this year, the popular legislator with a strong conservative voting record has found her photo on door hangers throughout her district, pictured as the conductor of the Obamacare train to disaster.
NATIONAL
June 14, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo
TUCSON - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer won a battle with state lawmakers this week, defying most other conservatives in her party to get a key component of President Obama's Medicaid expansion through the Legislature. The Arizona Senate voted Thursday to approve the measure 18 to 11. That followed approval earlier this week by the state House of Representatives. The issue had inflamed passions and divided the Legislature for weeks. Things came to a head Tuesday when Brewer called lawmakers into the Capitol in Phoenix for a surprise special session.
NATIONAL
May 28, 2013 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court refused Tuesday to allow Indiana to block Medicaid funding of Planned Parenthood clinics because they perform abortions. Without comment, the high court let stand decisions by a federal judge in Indiana and the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago that prevented the measure from taking effect. The 2011 law would have banned Medicaid funds from going to an organization such as Planned Parenthood whose work includes performing abortions. Judge Diane S. Sykes, writing for the 7th Circuit last year, said the state's "defunding law excludes Planned Parenthood from Medicaid for a reason unrelated to its fitness to provide medical services, violating its patients' statutory right to obtain medical care from the qualified provider of their choice.
NATIONAL
August 2, 2002 | From Associated Press
Massachusetts' three largest drugstore chains will temporarily continue to fill Medicaid prescriptions in exchange for the state's reconsidering a planned cut in reimbursement rates. Gov. Jane Swift announced the agreement Thursday, for now resolving a dispute with CVS, Walgreens and Brooks Pharmacy. The chains had threatened to withdraw from the state's Medicaid program because of an 11% reduction in prescription reimbursement rates.
NEWS
November 28, 1991 | Associated Press
Congress voted Wednesday to forestall severe state Medicaid cutbacks but will require changes that affect future financing of health care programs for the poor. The changes are based on an agreement between the Bush Administration and governors to resolve a dispute over the ways states can receive federal Medicaid matching funds. States feared those rules would severely cut federal matching funds and throw their Medicaid programs into disarray.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 20, 2013 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
When the national healthcare law takes full effect next year, millions of Americans risk disrupted health coverage because of common life events: getting married or divorced, having children or taking on a second job. As their family incomes change, so too will their eligibility for public insurance programs. And if nothing is done, policymakers warn, many low-income patients will lose access to their doctors and medications during this massive game of health coverage pingpong. Policymakers and healthcare industry leaders across the nation are paying close attention to the issue and working to close the coverage gaps before Jan. 1, said Alan Weil, executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy.
NATIONAL
May 18, 2013 | By Noam N. Levey, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Republican opposition in many statehouses to expanding Medicaid next year under President Obama's healthcare law - opposition that could leave millions of the nation's poorest residents without insurance coverage - will likely widen the divide between the nation's healthiest and sickest states. With nearly every GOP-leaning state on track to reject an expansion of the government health plan for the poor, the healthcare law's goal of guaranteed insurance will become a reality next year mostly in traditionally liberal and moderate states.
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