The report, released Thursday by the White House Council of Economic Advisers examines the health and economic impact on the 22 states that did not expand Medicaid programs, including Gov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee.
Insure Tennessee is Haslam's proposed insurance expansion plan using Medicaid funding that was twice defeated in state Senate committees.
The study used economic and health policy analyses from more than four dozen reports and papers to look at impacts on health, consumers and economies. Oregon's Medicaid lottery system, which limits the number of people who can enroll, is also evaluated. LINK
Tennessee must stop playing public records law gamesThe state of Tennessee has been playing games with the public records law, and it has to stop.
The Tennessean has made uncomfortable records requests over the last four months concerning which lawmakers are on the state health insurance plan, how much they and the state are paying in premiums, and how much the state is paying out in medical costs for their care.
So uncomfortable are these requests that legislators initially claimed erroneously that their privacy was being invaded and tried to pressure the executive branch to keep that information secret.
There is a compelling public interest so that you, the reader and taxpayer, know how your legislators benefit — for a lifetime — from their service, especially in the wake of denying a vote on extending affordable health insurance to working poor Tennesseans.
The latest information in the piecemeal releases — following delays, denials and inconsistent requests for payments — is that between 2010 and 2014, current and former Tennessee legislators paid $5.1 million in premiums, while the state paid $12.1 million for their premiums. In addition, they received $13.6 million in medical care for them individually and, in some cases, for their dependents. LINK
Huckabee draws criticism for transgender commentary in NashvilleA video of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s comments to religious broadcasters during a February Nashville appearance is being currently circulated, drawing criticism from transgender groups and even a fellow Republican presidential candidate, according to a USA Today story published in The Tennessean.
“Now I wish that someone told me that when I was in high school that I could have felt like a woman when it came time to take showers in PE,” Huckabee said to the 2015 National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville. “I’m pretty sure that I would have found my feminine side and said, ‘Coach, I think I’d rather shower with the girls today.’ ”
…Former New York governor George Pataki, who is also seeking the 2016 Republican nomination, told CNN, “I think the more important point is we should give people their dignity and let them make their own decisions. If someone chooses a path that’s different than mine, we should respect it as opposed to mocking it or in any way trying to prevent that.”
Huckabee’s comments… dealt in part with a proposal in Houston saying that no business open to the public could deny a transgender person entry to the restroom consistent with his or her gender identity. LINK
Harold Ford Jr. for Mayor?
So guess who's being touted for Mayor. Yep, Harold Ford Jr.
But not of Memphis, Ford's erstwhile home base, where petitions can still be drawn for the mayoral race of 2015.
No, the transplanted former 9th District congressman and 2006 U.S. Senate candidate, is apparently being talked up for Mayor of New York, his current abode — the most recent hints of such a prospect coming from Bloomberg Business, which reported last week on a Lincoln Center “American Songbook” gala that, according to the periodical, honored Ford for his fundraising efforts on behalf of the Center.
Said the article: “Mayor was on the lips of some guests, though not Ford’s. Asked about his interest in leading the city, Ford, who once considered a run for a U.S. Senate seat from New York and has endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race, said ‘I’m a new father for the second time, that’s what I’m focused on.’” LINK
States Have One Last Chance for Feds to Pay for Medicaid ExpansionIf states want the federal government to foot the bill for a Medicaid expansion, their window is rapidly closing.
Under the Affordable Care Act, states that expand Medicaid are rewarded by a 100 percent federal match rate—until the end of 2016. After next year, the rate starts declining, dropping to 90 percent by 2020.
So far, 21 states have not expanded the program, although three are discussing it. With federal funding decreasing within the next fiscal year and state legislatures wrapping up for the session, it's questionable whether the reduction will deter states from ever expanding.
In other words, states that haven't expanded might, from now on, have less of a carrot to do so.
"I think the 100 percent match is definitely an incentive," said Laura Snyder, a senior policy analyst at the Kaiser Family Foundation. "There's definitely some pressure there."
Although states can choose to opt into the expansion at any point, in most states, budgets that legislators pass next session will include a 100 percent match for only six months before the amount decreases. LINK
Crockett Policy Institute