medicaid

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's governor says a revived Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act won't work for Maryland.

Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, said Tuesday the Graham-Cassidy health care bill would "cost our state over $2 billion annually while directly jeopardizing the health care of our citizens."

The effort to repeal the health care law in Washington has taken on new life after it seemed all but dead earlier this summer.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's administration will bring tens of millions of dollars in mid-year budget cuts to a state board next week.

David Brinkley, Hogan's budget chief, said Thursday the actions are being taken to start addressing an estimated $742 million shortfall in the next fiscal year.

A total of $86.2 million in total savings will be brought to the Board of Public Works. Of the total savings, $67.2 million will be budget reductions.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - More than 200,000 Virginians will be impacted by a new Medicaid program that starts Aug 1.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the program will move many people with complex medical issues from a "fee for service" system to a managed care format.

Affected enrollees will include so-called "dual eligibles." They are people who receive both Medicare, which is federal insurance, and Medicaid, the state-and-federally funded insurance.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A spokeswoman for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says health care bills in Congress "do not work for Maryland."

Amelia Chasse, the Republican governor's spokeswoman, wrote in an email Thursday that the current health care system "needs to be fixed." But she says Congress "should go back to the drawing board in an open, transparent and bipartisan fashion to craft a bill that works for all Americans."

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Democratic hopefuls for governor of Virginia clashed over proposed gas pipelines and each other's past positions on gun rights and abortion in their penultimate debate in Norfolk.

The event Tuesday was mostly a study in nuance.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's attorney general is calling on federal officials to let the states use federal funds to target more cases of abuse and neglect committed against Medicaid beneficiaries.

Attorney General Mark Herring was among more than three dozen attorneys general who requested the policy change in a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The number of Virginians applying to enroll in Medicaid was about double during the last three months of 2016 than what state officials expected.

The state's Medicaid office said in a recent report filed to lawmakers that its processing unit had expected about 21,000 applications but instead received more than 41,000 for the publicly finance health care program for the poor. The increase was largely driven by a federal open enrollment period for health insurance.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers are poised to vote on legislation aimed at ensuring that people struggling with drug addiction get the help they need.

Supporters of the bill say denial of insurance coverage for substance abuse treatment is a major source of failed treatment efforts by people seeking help, and also a cause of the shortage of adequate treatment facilities in Delaware.

The legislation to be voted upon Tuesday is aimed at ensuring that people with private and public insurance coverage get treatment.

Don Rush

It was a hostile crowd that met Representative Andy Harris as he held his first in-person town hall Saturday on the Eastern Shore this congressional session on the campus of Chesapeake College.

The Eastern Shore Republican was stopped a number of times in his efforts to explain his opposition to the Affordable Care and his claim that Medicaid outcomes were the same as for the uninsured.

Instead he called or high risk pools for people with high medical costs and turning more control of Medicaid over to the states.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP)- A Maryland measure that would direct state funds to continue family planning services provided by Planned Parenthood has been approved by the legislature.
    
The Senate voted 32-15 for a bill that already has cleared the House.
    
The bill would direct $2 million in the state's Medicaid budget to family planning services provided by Planned Parenthood, as well as another $700,000 from the state's general fund, if funding were cut by the federal government.
    

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Democrats in the state legislature will be talking about how proposed cuts in the federal budget could affect the state.

House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller are scheduled to gather with fellow Democrats on Thursday in Annapolis.

Maryland lawmakers have been particularly concerned about how President Donald Trump's budget proposal could hurt the state.

Maryland is home to a large number of federal workers, and federal agencies are headquartered in the state.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland measure with bipartisan support would expand Medicaid to establish an adult dental option.

The bill is scheduled to have a hearing on Tuesday. It's sponsored by a Maryland Republican, Del. Mike McKay, of western Maryland.

He says oral health is a critical part of overall health care, and it's time for Maryland to include it in Medicaid coverage.

The dental option would be authorized under the legislation. It would not be mandated.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - One of Virginia's most powerful politicians is stepping down.

Republican House Speaker William J. Howell said Monday he is retiring will not seek re-election when his term ends in January.

House Majority Leader Kirk Cox is expected to be Howell's successor, though other Republicans may try to challenge him.

Elected as speaker in 2003, Howell helped grow a near GOP supermajority in the House thanks in part to the favorable legislative boundaries drawn during the last redistricting.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates will be pushing legislation again this session to promote direct primary care agreements, in which patients pay a fee for unlimited primary care.

Del. Steven Landes outlined Republicans' health care priorities in a speech on the House floor Thursday.

Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed primary care legislation last year that supporters said was needed to provide legal clarity for them and their customers. It clarified that direct primary care agreements are not insurance and cannot be regulated as such.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A new study of Virginia's Medicaid program has identified ways to cut millions of dollars out of the yearly budget.

Media outlets report that the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, a watchdog group, released its report Monday.

Among JLARC's dozens of recommendations are for leaders to consider a tighter cap on profits for insurance companies that manage care for most people in the Medicaid program.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Virginia's Medicaid program will need an additional $281 million in the current two-year budget.
    
Local news organizations report that the cost projection was disclosed to legislative budget leaders on Tuesday, two months after Gov. Terry McAuliffe revealed a $1.48 billion revenue shortfall.
    
The McAuliffe administration says the forecast is driven primarily by higher costs for services to the elderly and disabled.
    

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is announcing a series of budget measures that includes canceling pay raises, trimming the state's payroll, and using the state's rainy day fund.

McAuliffe announced the measures Thursday at the Capitol, adding that he'd had to make difficult decisions and there may me more to come.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Officials say Virginia's Medicaid program has begun covering the cost of mosquito repellent to prevent people from being infected by the Zika virus.

The Washington Post reports that the program began covering repellent on Monday.

The state health department says prescriptions are required for people to obtain the payment. One refill is allowed per month.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials say Medicaid recipients can now get benefit coverage for over-the-counter mosquito repellents.

Officials say the move is intended to help protect against the Zika virus.

Over-the-counter insect repellents generally are not covered by Medicaid. But the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently allowed states to cover mosquito repellents for Medicaid recipients when prescribed by an authorized health professional.

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Medicaid recipients could receive dental care under a measure that was approved by the Delaware Senate yesterday.

Nearly 117-thousand people would be covered with a price tag of $7.4 million.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that there would be a $10 co-pay for up to $1-thousand per year in dental care.

Another $15-hundred would be allowed for emergency dental care.  

The paper reports that state Senator Colin Bonini (R-Dover South) questioned whether the state could afford the measure given the current revenue projections.

Don Rush

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - Lawmakers who meet this week to begin marking up Gov. Jack Markell's proposed $4 billion budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 have almost $36 million less to work with than they did last month.

The Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council on Monday lowered official revenue projections for the current and upcoming fiscal years by about $18 million each compared to April's estimates.

The changes were largely driven by lower expectations for personal and corporate income taxes.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A rift between a medical center and a health care company threatens to suspend coverage for thousands of patients.

The Wilmington News Journal  reports that the current contract between Bayhealth Medical Center and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware to reimburse the hospital for its care of the insurer's customers expires May 15.

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For those who have enrolled in Delaware’s Medicaid program since the Affordable Care Act women overwhelm men by a 2 to 1 margin.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the numbers at a monthly Delaware Health Care Commission meeting found that by the end of January 63 percent of the nearly 10-thousand new enrollees were women.

Nina DeVoe with the Delaware Commission for Women told the paper that this appeared to be the result of the issues that are facing women.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Leaders in the Virginia General Assembly have reached a compromise on a $100 billion state budget proposal that includes no new taxes or fee increases and raises state worker pay by 3 percent.

Republican leaders in both the House and Senate announced Wednesday they have agreed on a two-year state spending plan.

As expected, the budget does not include provisions related to expanding Medicaid. Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, has pushed for expanding the publicly funded health care program for the poor, but Republicans have rejected the idea.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State Medicaid officials are facing an estimated shortfall of $28.5 million in Gov. Jack Markell's proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year because of higher-than-expected costs.

Officials told lawmakers Wednesday that while Markell's budget proposal includes $40 million in additional Medicaid spending, they now expect they'll need more than $68 million.

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Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe gave a warning to Republican lawmakers that he would veto any legislation he thought would curb abortion rights or expand gun rights in a way he thinks is unsafe.

McAuliffe issued the warning during his State of the Commonwealth address to the legislature last night.

The governor has been an outspoken advocate for abortion rights and signed an executive order last year banning the open carry of guns in some state-owned buildings.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Lawmakers are returning to Richmond to kick off the 2016 legislative session and to hear Gov. Terry McAuliffe's State of the Commonwealth speech.

The Democratic governor is entering his third year in office and will be seeking support from state lawmakers to support his $109 billion proposed budget that includes a billion-dollar increase in education spending, small corporate and individual tax cuts, and a 2 percent raise for state employees.

He delivers his third State of the Commonwealth address Wednesday night.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is proposing a billion dollar increase in education spending, small tax cuts, and a 2 percent raise for state employees.

The Democratic governor is also renewing his long-shot push to convince the GOP-controlled General Assembly to approve an expansion of Medicaid.

McAuliffe unveiled his $109 billion two-year budget proposal Thursday at the Capitol. He says he took a conservative approach to spending that will help improve Virginia's long-term economic outlook.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A new state forecast expects Virginia's Medicaid costs to increase by nearly $1 billion through the next two-year budget.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's legislative watchdog agency says inadequate review systems and delays in processing have left the state vulnerable to providing millions of dollars in Medicaid benefits to people who aren't eligible.

Staff members of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission unveiled the first part of their two-year review of the state's Medicaid program to lawmakers Monday.

The commission says the state isn't checking to determine whether applicants are telling the truth when they report that they have no income.

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