Midterm Election Boosts Medicaid Expansion, But Challenges Remain

November 8, 2018, Kaiser Health News, Phil Galewitz- Medicaid - which has been a political football between Washington and state capitols during the past decade - scored big in Tuesday’s election. Following the vote, nearly 500,000 uninsured adults in five states are poised to gain Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, advocates estimate. Three deep-red states passed ballot measures expanding their programs and two other states elected governors who have said they will accept expansion bills from their legislatures. Supporters were so excited by the victories they said they will start planning for more voter referendums in 2020. Medicaid proponents also were celebrating the Democrats’ takeover of the House, which would impede any Republican efforts to repeal the ACA and make major cuts to the federal-state health insurance program for low-income people.

Google has hired Geisinger’s David Feinberg to lead its health strategy

November 8, 2018, CNBC, Christina Farr- Google has selected Geisinger Health CEO David Feinberg to define a strategy to coordinate its moves into the $3 trillion health care sector, Geisinger has announced. The search has been underway for months, according to several people familiar with the search process. Artificial intelligence head Jeff Dean has been deeply involved in the process and personally interviewing candidates, the people said. Some of the candidates have included leaders in health consulting, hospital management and insurance. The position would report to Dean, but would also work closely with Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Feinberg’s job will be figuring out how to organize Google’s fragmented health initiatives, which overlap among many different business groups

Redemption for Obamacare

November 7, 2018, Politico, Alice Mirada Ollstein and Adam Cancryn- Democrats ran on Obamacare and, finally, sailed to victory. The party that bet on surging enthusiasm for the Affordable Care Act flipped control of the House Tuesday night in what could amount to a major reset of the political direction on health care. Democrats also made gains at the state level, wins in gubernatorial races that could prompt new expansions of Medicaid and energize lawmakers, who can claim they have a mandate to further build on a law that serves as the bedrock of their domestic agenda. Voters in three states also approved Medicaid expansion through the ballot, defying Republican officials who long refused the program. But Republicans kept - and enlarged - their Senate majority.

Medicaid expansion scores election wins and losses across the country

November 7, 2018, Modern Healthcare, Harris Meyer- From the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains to New England, Medicaid expansion got a big boost Tuesday from successful ballot initiatives and from gubernatorial victories by Democrats in several states who made expansion a central issue.  Voters in Idaho, Nebraska and Utah approved mandatory ballot initiatives to extend Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act to adults with incomes under 138% of the federal poverty level. Republican governors and lawmakers in those states had repeatedly refused to pass it.

Senate hopefuls split on who is fighting for folks with pre-existing conditions

November 1, 2018, Mississippi Today, Bobby Harrison- Democratic candidates for Mississippi’s two United States Senate seats that will be on the ballot Tuesday have been arguing their Republican opponents would jeopardize the mandate that insurance companies provide coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. At Thursday’s Mississippi Economic Council’s annual Hob Nob at the Mississippi Coliseum, many of the candidates spoke about health care and the issue of pre-existing conditions or were asked about it by the media. Others were asked about the issue earlier this week before the Hob Nob event. According to an NBC/Survey Monkey poll conducted in September, 20 percent of Mississippians said health care was their top issue, trailing only education that was the top issue for 32 percent of the respondents.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s fabrications on Medicare, immigrants

November 5, 2018, Associated Press, Calvin Woodward and Hope Yen- In the final days before pivotal midterm elections, President Donald Trump is painting a distorted picture of immigration while exaggerating his record of achieving economic gains for non-whites and improving health care for veterans. He insists that Republicans will be able to attract the non-white vote in Tuesday’s elections because he’s achieved “the best median income numbers for all of these groups.” In fact, incomes for African-Americans and Asian-Americans reached their highest levels prior to his administration.On immigration, Trump inflates the number of foreigners living in the U.S. illegally and misrepresents Democratic legislation in the Senate as promoting “open borders.” Meanwhile, on health care, Trump falsely suggests that Democrats would seek to destroy Medicare if they take control of Congress and overstates improvements he made to the Department of Veterans Affairs.