House Dems press Trump to fund ObamaCare outreach groups

September 12, 2017, The Hill, Nathaniel Weixel- A group of Democratic lawmakers are calling on the Trump administration to pay millions of dollars to outside groups that help people sign up for ObamaCare.The letter from 31 House Democrats, led by Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (N.H.), pressed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to release funding for navigator groups, which also help with ObamaCare education and outreach.  Late last month, the Trump administration announced it was slashing the grant money for navigators by nearly 41 percent, or $23 million.

Legislators consider limits on new health care facilities

September 12, 2017, Mississippi Business Journal, Bobby Harrison- The chairmen of the House and Senate public health committees would not say whether they would support efforts to repeal the process where certain health care facilities must obtain a certificate of need to operate in the state. But Rep. Sam Mims, R-McComb, chairman of the House committee, and Sen. Dean Kirby, R-Pearl, chairman of the Senate panel, and members of their committees held a three-hour hearing on the issue Monday. “We are just interested in getting the best health care we can get for the dollars we are allotted,” Kriby said after the meeting. Mims simply said “it is a big issue” that deserved the attention of his committee.Both said they would continue to study the issue.

Navigating ‘managed’ health care: some find a family, others feel shut-out

September 12, 2017, The Clarion-Ledger, Anna Wolfe- Despite recent criticisms of Mississippi Medicaid’s managed care program,some patients say services they receive from the two companies, Magnolia and UnitedHealthcare, make all the difference. Gray’s 7-year-old son, who receives his Medicaid care through Magnolia, has asthma and acid reflux. Before, when he had trouble breathing, she couldn’t distinguish the cause.“It’s been a lot of times where he’s in the middle of an asthma attack and I’m wondering if I need to give him his medicine or call 911, because the drive from where we live to the hospital is a long drive,” Gray said.

Week ahead: Senate panel looks to quickly strike deal on ObamaCare fix

September 11, 2017, The Hill, Jessie Hellmann- The Senate Health Committee is aiming to reach a deal in the coming week on a bipartisan bill aimed at stabilizing ObamaCare’s shaky insurance markets.However, timing is a challenge if Congress wants to have an impact on premiums and insurer participation in 2018. Insurers must sign contracts by the end of September to participate next year, meaning Congress would have to pass a bill before that deadline. But there are still disagreements over the specifics of the bill, which Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and ranking member Patty Murray(D-Wash.) hope to work out by the end of the week.

Arizona moving ahead with proposal to add AHCCCS work requirements

September 9, 2017, Arizona Daily Star, Stephanie Innes- Arizona could become one of the first states in the country to impose work requirements and five-year lifetime limits on “able-bodied” adult enrollees in Medicaid. Arizona’s request to the federal government to tighten its Medicaid eligibility has been delayed by more than five months, but state officials say they are still moving forward. An answer is expected in 2018 - and the Trump administration appears favorable to the plan.

Health care expansion regulations pro or ‘con’ for Mississippi?

September 9, 2017, The Clarion-Ledger, Anna Wolfe- A national push to eliminate certain health care regulations has made its way to Mississippi, where free-market philosophy often influences policy decisions. Health care providers looking to expand some services are required to receive a “certificate of need” from the state Department of Health.The certificates ensure facilities and services are added to communities that can support them, but one lawmaker thinks the requirement gives large health systems an advantage.