Louisiana and S. Carolina  Both Reject Arkansas Plan for Medicaid Expansion

"Keck argues that buying private insurance is one of the worst ways to use those extra [federa] funds.

Background:  The Senate and the House have passed a bill to implement a very controversial private care Medicaid Expansion Plan - SB1020 and HB1143 of 2013. But it takes a 3/4 majority for the appropriation bill for it to go into effect so the fight is still on between the Conservative grassroots and some Republican leaders.

Excerpts from articles:

Jindal won't seek to follow Arkansas on Medicaid

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration announced Tuesday that it won't seek to replicate a private insurance Medicaid expansion model like Arkansas. . .

Jindal's interim health secretary, Kathy Kliebert, told the Senate Health and Welfare Committee that the federal guidelines outlined for the Arkansas proposal don't offer enough flexibility and leave too much uncertainty about future financing and regulations.

Arkansas has asked federal officials to let it use the Medicaid money to buy private insurance policies, and the Obama administration is working with the state on that idea. An Arkansas health official outlined the proposal to Louisiana senators Tuesday.  http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2013-04-10/jindal-wont-seek-to-follow-arkansas-on-medicaid

Why South Carolina won’t follow Arkansas’s Medicaid lead

Posted by Sarah Kliff on April 3, 2013 at 1:33 pm

If Republicans are for this plan, I don’t know what exactly they were against before,” says Keck, who runs South Carolina’s Medicaid program. “It covers the same number of people, with the same benefits and is more expensive. I have a hard time understanding what it is that some of these Republican legislators like about that."

Keck isn’t completely alone. Former Mitt Romney health adviser Avik Roy has become skeptical of the plan as he’s learned more details, as has Dennis Smith, who previously worked as Wisconsin’s Medicaid director under Scott Walker. . .

Let’s say, though, that a Republican governor does disagree with Keck. He thinks there is value in bringing more Medicaid dollars into the state, even if it means some additional state spending on the program. In that situation, Keck argues that buying private insurance is one of the worst ways to use those extra funds. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/03/why-south-carolina-wont-follow-arkansass-medicaid-lead/

Posted April 11, 2013 by Debbie Pelley