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February 12, 2014 | Daily News

The Affordable Care Act’s health insurance fee will cost states $13.6 billion over 10 years and the federal government another $24.1 billion under a moderate Medicaid expansion scenario that assumes six additional states will expand their programs, according to a new Milliman study commissioned by the association representing Medicaid managed care plans.

February 05, 2014 | Daily News

Although many GOP-led states have criticized the Affordable Care Act and touted what they view as the fiscally irresponsible costs of expanding Medicaid, a few Republican governors this week signaled that with some compromise from CMS, they may be willing to move forward.

February 04, 2014 | Daily News

The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday (Feb. 4) lowered enrollment expectations for both Medicaid and qualified health plans in 2014, citing problems with the federal government's health insurance exchange website as the major factor.

February 03, 2014 | Daily News

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) is wrangling with Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) to be the ranking Democrat on the House Energy & Commerce Committee days after veteran healthcare lawmaker Henry Waxman (D-CA) said he would not seek reelection -- a move several sources say signals a divide between followers of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD).

February 03, 2014 | Daily News

A GOP aide tells Inside Health Policy that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) effort to glean health policy ideas from Republican governors to inform common-sense "step-by-step" reforms should not be seen as a rift in thinking between leadership and the trio of Republican senators that pitched a more comprehensive reform proposal last week.

January 31, 2014 | Daily News

Virginia state lawmakers are in the midst of debating whether to expand Medicaid to an estimated 400,000 beneficiaries, and a decision will come by Feb. 16 when the Senate and House budgets are due.

January 30, 2014 | Daily News

CMS announced early results from its initiatives on accountable care organizations: Nearly half of the 114 ACOs in the Medicare Shared Savings Program had lower expenditures than expected, 29 of which received bonuses (shared savings) totaling $126 million in the first year and generated $128 million in savings for Medicare; Pioneer ACOs, which are part of a separate initiative, generated gross savings of $147 million in their first year; and the participants of the Physician Group Practice Demonstration earned a total of $108 million in bonuses over five years for improving the quality of care and lowering costs.

January 30, 2014 | Daily News

Rep. Henry Waxman's (D-CA) decision not to seek reelection marks the imminent departure of a veteran lawmaker who has been pivotal on health care issues, spanning his authorship of the 1984 drug patent law that created the generic drug industry to his key role in passage of the Affordable Care Act.

January 30, 2014 | Daily News

A long menu of possible offsets for Medicare physician-pay reform is widely circulating on Capitol Hill and among health care lobbyists.

January 28, 2014 | Daily News

Roughly half of the states using the federally facilitated exchange can now successfully send and receive Medicaid applications between healthcare.gov and state Medicaid agencies, CMS told insurers on a Monday (Jan. 27) stakeholder call, indicating that while progress is being made about half of all FFE states still can't complete the process designed to smooth enrollment into Medicaid or qualified health plans.

January 27, 2014 | Daily News

The lobby representing Medicaid managed care plans tells Inside Health Policy that actuarial soundness principles dictate states must absorb the impact of the health law's insurance fee (including its non-deductibility), but CMS has not -- and sources suggest may never -- issued guidance on the subject, thus leaving plans and states to hash details out in negotiations.

January 24, 2014 | Daily News

The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission on Thursday (Jan. 23) took on first for the first time the issue of short staffing of state Medicaid offices.

January 23, 2014 | Daily News

Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday (Jan. 23) praised consumer advocates for playing a key role in securing the ACA's passage and stopping GOP-driven Medicaid reforms, telling attendees of Families USA’s annual Health Action conference that advocates changed the conversation by recasting health care as a basic right instead of a privilege and by demanding a fair shake for millions of families.

January 23, 2014 | Daily News

State agencies and state-based exchanges have reported to CMS that they have determined about 6.3 million individuals to be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP since October, according to a report issued Wednesday (Jan. 22), which also shows that enrollment of low-income adults grew more in states that expanded Medicaid than those that didn't yet countrywide Medicaid enrollment still grew a total of 1.2 percent compared to a pre-ACA baseline.

January 23, 2014 | Daily News

The Medicare Rights Center opposes proposals that would increase beneficiaries' health care costs -- including increasing brand-name drug copayments for those receiving low income subsidies, a proposal lawmakers have considered to help pay for a fix to the flawed Medicare physician payment formula -- in a report released Wednesday (Jan. 22).

January 23, 2014 | Daily News

Connecticut's state-based exchange is developing an “exchange in a box” for other states that are interested in operating their own insurance marketplaces and don't want to start from scratch with developing their own technology, Access Health CT Chief Executive Officer Kevin Counihan tells Inside Health Policy, and some sources suggest the move could present an opportunity for those state-based exchanges that continue to experience significant technological problems to turn around their lagging enrollment.

January 22, 2014 | Daily News

Thirty-five state Medicaid programs have expanded to reimburse peer-support specialists since 2001, which experts in the mental and substance abuse fields say is a sea-tide of change that could eventually result in validation and creation of a profession that fits well with accountable care organizations and the push for value-based purchasing.

January 21, 2014 | Daily News

Three generic drug companies have come out in support of Washington state biosimilar substitution legislation that includes a prescriber notification requirement, and in doing so have broken ranks with their trade group which charges the bill would hamper competition.

January 15, 2014 | Daily News

A broad-based commission led by former HHS chief Michael Leavitt concludes states are best-positioned to pressure health care stakeholders to shift to a risk-based payment approach and urges governors to leverage their purchasing power in Medicaid and the new insurance exchanges.

January 15, 2014 | Daily News

As part of the National Governors Association's annual “State of the States” address Wednesday (Jan. 15), NGA Chair Mary Fallin (R-OK) and Vice Chair John Hickenlooper (D-CO) discussed states' plans to move forward on developing state-level recommendations for how to cut health care costs and increase quality.