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GOP states that have expanded Medicaid toying with changes

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A handful of red states that agreed to Medicaid expansions are planning to ask the federal government to consider changes to the initiatives that would make the expanded program more closely resemble private insurance as well as couple enrollment in the program to work requirements, Modern Healthcare reported.

Republican-led Ohio and Iowa are planning to alter their Medicaid programs and, according to the story, Arizona and Michigan are seeking work requirements. Arizona passed a law in March that would allow adults with incomes at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level to enroll but would limit coverage to five years only. The law also requires that people contribute to the costs of the healthcare coverage through premiums.

Florida is one of 19 states that has not expanded Medicaid under the federal healthcare law and the politically divisive issue has forced legislators into a special session. The Florida Senate included a Medicaid expansion, and the money that goes along with it, in its proposed budget for 2015-16. Called FHIX the proposal also would couple coverage with work requirements and require contributions for the coverage. The Senate also included in its budget Low Income Pool dollars, made possible through an 1115 waiver. The federal government in April notified Florida in writing that it would next extend LIP beyond this summer.

Florida has been negotiating with the federal government to extend the revenues and Gov. Rick Scott is suing the federal government for what he called “coercion” when the federal Medicaid officials told Florida insurance coverage and not supplemental pools of money for the uninsured is a better use of taxpayers’ money. Scott on Thursday filed an injunction that, if granted, would require CMS to continue paying into the $2.2 billion program beyond June 30.

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