A Political Paradox: Why Do Americans Who Are Dependent On Government Aid Often Strongly Oppose ‘Big Government’?
Residents of Harlan, Ky., are vocally Republican, but the county is the nation’s fifth most dependent on federal programs, such as Medicaid. The New York Times investigates this ever-growing contradiction in American politics. Medicaid news comes out of California, Wisconsin and New Hampshire, as well.
The New York Times:
Where Government Is A Dirty Word, But Its Checks Pay The Bills
Gov. Matt Bevin skillfully worked the room at the old courthouse building here in Harlan, one more town-hall meeting in the long campaign toward next year’s election. He deplored the parlous state of a half-mile stretch of U.S. 421 and said $802,000 would be spent to rebuild it. He commiserated with the man who wanted to know how he should deal with the bears tearing through his trash bins, now that it’s forbidden to shoot them. The line that got the governor a standing ovation, however, was about Medicaid. More precisely, about his plan — so far frustrated by the courts — to require thousands of able-bodied Medicaid recipients between 19 and 64 to work, get training or perform community service for 20 hours a week to keep their health insurance. (Porter, 12/21)
Coverage Denied: Medicaid Patients Suffer As Layers Of Private Companies Profit
Marcela Villa isn’t a big name in health care — but she played a crucial role in the lives of thousands of Medicaid patients in California. Her official title: denial nurse. Each week, dozens of requests for treatment landed on her desk after preliminary rejections. Her job, with the assistance of a part-time medical director, was to conclusively determine whether the care — from doctor visits to cancer treatment — should be covered under the nation’s health insurance program for low-income Americans. (Terhune, 12/19)
Senate GOP Leader Not Ruling Out Accepting Federal Medicaid Expansion
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, isn't ruling out accepting federal money to expand Medicaid in Wisconsin, but said he doesn't see support for it in the Republican-led Legislature now. "I don’t see it right now, but there’s a lot of moving parts, as we know. So I don’t want to be presumptuous and rule it out," Fitzgerald told reporters Thursday at the state Capitol. (Opoien, 12/20)
The Associated Press:
N.H. Bipartisan Panel Objects Trump Tweaks To Medicaid Rules
A bipartisan legislative committee on Thursday unanimously objected to Trump administration changes to New Hampshire’s proposed work requirements for Medicaid recipients, but the state health commissioner said the rules can be implemented without the panel’s approval. The federal government last month approved the state’s request to require some recipients to spend at least 100 hours a month working, going to school or participating in community service. There would be exemptions for parents of young children, people with disabilities and others, and those who fall short could make up hours the next month. (Ramer, 12/20)