December 22, 2018, Politico, Paul Demko- Mississippi’s Republican governor is considering Medicaid expansion, the first sign that long-held GOP opposition could be wilting in the Deep South after an election that was a big winner for the Obamacare program. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, entering his final year in office, has been engaged in quiet talks about adopting expansion after resisting for years, according to two sources familiar with the discussions. The behind-the-scenes move comes as a surprisingly viable Democratic gubernatorial candidate is planning to make Medicaid expansion a central issue in the 2019 election. But in an even more unlikely scenario, Republicans could beat him to it and undercut a key Democratic message. Until now, Medicaid expansion has largely been ignored in the Republican-dominated state, one of the sickest and the poorest in the country. Even Mississippi Democrats have largely dismissed it as politically unviable since a 2012 Supreme Court decision made the program optional for states.
January 7, 2019, KHN, Phil Galewitz- Emilia Ford became pregnant at 15 and, after her daughter was born, dropped out of high school. As she held down different jobs during the past decade - including housekeeping and working in a relative’s retail store - she always thought about going for her GED to show she met high school academic skills. But the Brookhaven, Pa., woman needed assistance finding tutors and paying for the set of four tests, which cost $20 each. She found help from an unexpected source: her Medicaid health plan. AmeriHealth Caritas, a Philadelphia-based insurer with 2 million Medicaid members in Pennsylvania and five other states, helps connect members with nonprofit groups providing GED test preparation classes, offers telephone coaching to keep members on track and pays the testing fees. Ford is one of 62 plan members who have earned a GED certificate since the benefit began in 2013.