You are here

health law

Michigan Seeks Waiver to Continue Medicaid Expansion

Michigan is seeking a waiver from the Obama administration to expand Medicaid to another 600,000 low-income adults, the Associated Press reports. Unde the waiver request, "adults who have been enrolled for four years would have to buy private insurance through a government health exchange or pay higher copays and contribute more to health savings accounts."

Obama Proposes Plan to Ban Discrimination Against Transgender People in Health Care

President Obama's administration has proposed a plan to ban discrimination against transgender people in the health care system, the Associated Press reports. The regulations would expand "insurance coverage for gender transition and prohibit health care facilities from denying transgender people access to restrooms that match their individual gender identity." Public comment is being accepted until November 6, including on providing religious protections for healthcare providers.

Alaska Supreme Court Authorizes Medicaid Expansion to Proceed Today

The Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the state's Medicaid expansion could proceed today, Alaska Dispatch News' Tegan Hanlon reports. Governor Bill Walker expanded Medicaid over the objections of legislators, who argue they need to approve the expansion for it to be legal. The underlying lawsuit over the issue will still proceed because the court's order was about whether a temporary restraining order would go into place.

Judge Authorizes Alaska Medicaid Expansion

A state judge ruled Friday that Alaska Governor Bill Walker can expand Medicaid without legislative approval, Alaska Dispatch News' Nathaniel Herz reports. Legislators moved for a preliminary injunction to stop the expansion of coverage while they argue their underlying legal challenge to the legality of the executive action. Legislators argue that they must approve the expansion of Medicaid to groups whose coverage is not required under federal law.

However, the Alaska Supreme Court will hear the decision on appeal Monday.

Lawsuit Challenging Alaska's Medicaid Expansion Must Prove Irreparable Harm

Now that lawmakers in Alaska have voted to sue to try to block that state's expansion of Medicaid to 40,000 low-income adults, they will have to show irreparable harm will result if a preliminary injunction isn't granted against the expansion, APRN-Anchorage's Annie Feidt reports.

Legislators are arguing that the expansion needs to have their approval, that the population that would be covered by the expansion is not a mandatory group that must get health insurance coverage, and Gov. Bill Walker violated separation of powers by unilaterally authorizing the expansion.

The Associated Press' Becky Bohrer reports that the expansion would be for "people ages 19 to 64 who are not caring for dependent children, not disabled and not pregnant, and who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level."


Uninsured Rates Dropping in Most States

Arkansas, Kentucky, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington all have had a 10-percentage-point reduction in their rates of citizens who don't have health insurance, Gallup's Dan Witters reporst. Seven of the 10 states that have had the greatest reductions in uninsured rates have expanded Medicaid and established a "state-based marketplace exchange or state-federal partnership."

UN Secretary-General: Improvement of Health Needed for Indigenous Peoples

Yesterday was the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, which was focused on the health of indigenous peoples, their access to health services and gaps in social services.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was adopted in 2007, "'affirms the right to maintain indigenous health practices as well as to have access to all social and health services for the enjoyment of the highest standards of physical and mental health,"' Merh News Agency reports.

Inter Press Service's Aruna Dutt reports that climate change could have a disproportionate impact on the health of indigenous peoples because of their "'dependence upon and close relationship with the environment and its resources.'"

Ninth Circuit Sides with Veterans in Lawsuit Over Experiments

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that the federal government must continue to provide medical care to veterans exposed to chemical and biological-weapons experiments as well as any new information that may affect their health, Metropolitan News-Enterprise's Kenneth Ofgang reports. The experiments took place between 1942 and 1975.

The panel said the fact that care is available through the Department of Veterans Affairs is insufficient basis to not compel the government to provide care to the entire class of test subjects.

The panel also found a basis for compelling medical care in a 1988 military regulation finding that test subjects have a duty to be warned even if their participation in the research is now over. The military had argued that the regulation only apply prospectively.

Utah Rejects Medicaid Expansion

Utah will not be expanding Medicaid, The Washington Examiner's Paige Winfield Cunningham reports. Lawmakers ended their session this week without adopting an expansion.

Even though Republican Governor Gary Herbert wanted to expand health coverage for more low-income Utah residents, legislators could not reach agreement on an expansion plan, according to Cunningham: "Utah's stalemate puts it among a number of states with GOP governors who have recently tried — but failed — to get their legislatures to approve alternative Medicaid expansion plans. Those states include Tennessee, Idaho and Wyoming."

Medicaid Expansion Continues in Ohio, Would Require Enrollees to Share in Cost

Ohio Governor John Kasich has signed a state budget that continues the expansion of Medicaid, the Associated Press reports. The plan would require about 1 million low-income Ohio residents to pay a monthly charge for Medicaid health coverage.

However, federal regulators would have to approve requiring some adults to pay into a health savings account regardless of their income: "Beneficiaries, except pregnant women, could be cut from the program if they don’t annually contribute 2 percent of their family income or $99, whichever is less."

More than 2.9 million Ohio residents are on Medicaid, making up about a quarter of the state's population.


Subscribe to RSS - health law