Oregon Lawmakers Seeking Budget Cuts Weigh Proposal To End Medicaid Expansion

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The state is facing a $1.6 billion deficit and dropping the Medicaid expansion could save $256 million over two years. The hospital industry is fighting the proposal and the governor has called it “unacceptable.” News outlets also report on other Medicaid news in Alabama, Mississippi and Michigan.

Modern Healthcare: Oregon Lawmakers Consider Ending Medicaid Expansion To Shore Up Budget
Democratic lawmakers in Oregon are considering ending the state’s Medicaid expansion in an effort to address a $1.6 billion budget shortfall. The state’s Ways and Means committee, which includes both senators and representatives, suggested cutting Medicaid expansion in an effort to curb Oregon’s $1.6 billion budget deficit. “We are simply laying out possibilities for how the state may deal with the stark realities of a projected $1.6 billion deficit,” Rep. Nancy Nathanson, co-chair of the Ways and Means committee said in an email. Ending Medicaid expansion, which has led to 350,000 people gaining coverage, would save the state $256 million over the next two years. (Dickson, 4/19)

AL.com: Medicaid Mandate Causing Confusion For Autism Insurance Bill
A hotly debated bill to require most private insurers to cover behavioral therapy for children with autism is first up in the House chamber on Thursday morning. Concern over costs is once again causing confusion. … Alabama is one of five states with no requirement that insurance companies cover applied behavior analysis (ABA), the most common and scientifically supported treatment for autism. In committee, the bill faced stiff opposition from members of the business and insurance communities. Though it passed the House Insurance committee, HB284 emerged with extra baggage, including caps on coverage, a provision to end coverage if insurance premiums rise beyond one percent, and a mandate to include coverage for children eligible for Medicaid. (Powell Crain, 4/19)

Modern Healthcare: Michigan Senate Panel OKs Language That Could Push Medicaid Mental Health Funding To Health Plans
A Michigan Senate subcommittee voted Tuesday for budget language that instructs the state Department of Health and Human Services to develop pilot projects for Medicaid health plans to integrate behavioral and physical health and work toward a single contracting model by Sept. 30, 2020. Under the plan, which has been heavily opposed by the state’s current public system of mental health providers and advocates, Michigan’s 11 Medicaid HMOs could eventually manage both the state’s $9 billion physical health and $2.6 billion behavioral health system. (Greene, 4/19)

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