Overnight Health: Another GOP governor accepts Medicaid expansion
By: Sam Baker
February 6, 2013
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday became the sixth Republican governor to back the Medicaid expansion in President Obama's signature healthcare law. That brings to 21 the total number of states where governors have said they intend to plow ahead with the expansion.
Snyder's choice comes after significant pressure from consumer advocates in his state. And it's the latest in a string of high-profile losses for conservative activists who have pushed GOP governors to resist the Medicaid expansion. High-profile defections from that hardline position also include Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and, most recently, Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
“It’s a win for all," Snyder reportedly said as he announced his long-awaited decision, noting that the federal government initially covers the entire cost of the expansion.
Healthwatch has more.
GOP hits employment numbers: House Republicans are making hay over yesterday's report from the Congressional Budget Office, and specifically its finding that 7 million fewer people will get healthcare through an employer by 2022. The House Education and the Workforce Committee noted the finding in a press release Wednesday, arguing that "the president’s government takeover of health care is forcing more Americans out of employer-provided health care and hitting job creators with higher taxes."
Abortion wars resume: Just as progressives notched a win in Michigan with Snyder's Medicaid decision, a Republican in the state legislature revived a controversial proposal to require a transvaginal ultrasound before a woman can obtain an abortion. Transvaginal ultrasounds were also at the center of an abortion firestorm last year in Virginia, where Gov. Bob McDonnell (R ) ultimately killed it. Talking Points Memo has more on the Michigan bill.
Keep waiting on Basic Health Program: States that want to set up a Basic Health Program under the Affordable Care Act will have to keep waiting. Medicaid Director Cindy Mann said as much at a Families USA conference last week, and the Medicaid agency made it official with a questions-and-answers document Wednesday. The document says the Basic Health Program will be an option in 2015. Read it here.