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Hatch unveils bill to ax health insurance tax; MHPA comments
Inside Health Policy (Subscription required)
Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch and Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso on Jan. 16 introduced legislation to repeal the ACA's health insurance tax, a key priority for the insurance industry as well as small businesses that say they are absorbing the impact of the tax. The move aligns with Hatch's vow to strike away at the ACA's taxes and mandates as he works toward fully repealing and replacing the health law.
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Advocates: Medicaid expansion is next top healthcare challenge
The Hill
Medicaid expansion in two dozen states remains one of the biggest hurdles to guaranteeing healthcare coverage after the rollout of Obamacare, according to a new report from Families USA. Unless the remaining 23 states opt to expand the eligibility for the low-income insurance program, millions of people will continue to lack affordable coverage, the healthcare advocacy group warned.
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CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner is stepping down
The Washington Post
Marilyn Tavenner, a key Obama administration health official overseeing the country's largest health insurance programs, has announced that she's resigning from her position as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services next month. Tavenner, who's been with CMS since 2010, played a major role in the implementation of President Barack Obama's healthcare law. Her agency wrote many of the new rules putting the Affordable Care Act in place and oversees the new health insurance exchanges created by the law.
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Federal funding for children's health insurance in serious jeopardy
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Millions of children could find themselves without health insurance if Congress can't cut a deal on funding for a popular federal program later this year. Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, expires in late September. Should it end, Americans age 18 and under would face few — and expensive — options to remain insured.
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US Supreme Court to hear Idaho Medicaid case
Kaiser Health News via Idaho Statesman
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case from Idaho seeking to overturn a 2011 lower court order to increase payments to businesses and nonprofit providers serving Medicaid enrollees with development disabilities. In the original case, five centers serving such patients argued Idaho was unfairly keeping Medicaid reimbursement rates at 2006 levels despite studies showing the cost of providing care had risen.
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Georgia legislator: Medicaid expansion may get a look
Georgia Health News
A Republican state senator said Thursday that he believes the General Assembly will hold hearings this year on the idea of Medicaid expansion in Georgia. The conventional wisdom has held that Medicaid expansion would not be a topic of discussion in the Republican-dominated legislature, which recently convened.
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Kansas Gov. Brownback notes poverty fight, touts Medicaid managed
care in State of the State address

Kansas Health Institute
In his first State of the State address since being re-elected, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said that his efforts to fight poverty and reform Medicaid have been a success and outlined a controversial second-term agenda. Brownback, a Republican who defeated Democrat Paul Davis in November, acknowledged that the state has a budget problem. But he pointed to indicators like the state's unemployment rate — 10th lowest in the country — as evidence that his sweeping income tax cuts are working.
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Medicaid management changes get backing of North Carolina lawmakers
The Associated Press via Charlotte Observer
The Department of Health and Human Services would no longer supervise day-to-day operations of North Carolina's Medicaid program under a bill that received key support. A General Assembly subcommittee endorsed a measure to shift the state Medicaid office from direct control of the department — run by Gov. Pat McCrory's administration — to a new, eight-member Health Benefits Authority.
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Applying for Pennsylvania Medicaid expansion? Wait in line
The Philadelphia Inquirer via Kaiser Health News
Almost seven weeks after the launch of Healthy Pennsylvania, the state's Medicaid expansion plan, enrollment has been hampered by delays. Only 55,000 of an estimated 151,000 people who applied for the program by Jan. 1 have been enrolled in Medicaid expansion, said Kait Gillis, spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services. She acknowledged the delays and said the agency was working to fix them.
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States gear up to help Medicaid enrollees beat addictions
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Under the Affordable Care Act, millions of low-income adults last year became eligible for Medicaid and subsidized health insurance for the first time. Now states face a huge challenge — how to deal with an onslaught of able-bodied, 18- to 64-year olds who haven't seen a doctor in years.
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MHPA's Myers to speak at 6th Annual Medicaid Innovations
2015 Forum | Feb. 3-5, 2015 | Orlando

Medicaid Innovations Forum
Join MHPA President and CEO Jeff Myers at the Sixth Annual Medicaid Innovations 2015 Forum in February 2015. This meeting offers a unique combination of forward-thinking perspectives including first-hand case studies and examples of true innovation from both Medicaid managed care plans and state government agencies. The forum, which gathers hundreds of representatives from states, health plans and solution providers in one room, goes beyond policy to explore the specific strategies these organizations are leveraging to improve quality of care, reduce costs and position themselves for success in serving the rapidly expanding Medicaid population. Use Discount Code MHPA200 to receive $200 off the current rate.
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MHPA's Myers joins keynote health plan panel at Medicaid Managed Care Leadership Summit | Feb. 24-25 | Alexandria, VA
World Congress and MHPA
Hear from CMS, national health plans and seven state offices. Topics include expansion, long term care, dual eligibles and more!

MHPA members: Save $300 with promo code MHPA400. Register here, or call 800-767-9499. For more info, visit the website here.

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MHPA's Myers to chair WHCC 4th Annual Medicaid and Medicare Reform Summit | March 2015 | Washington, DC
World Congress
MHPA President and CEO Jeff Myers will chair the WHCC 4th Annual Medicaid and Medicare Reform Summit, a meeting that convenes executives from health plans, hospital systems and policy organizations to share, learn and discuss approaches to improve the quality of government programs and achieve payment and delivery reform. For conference details, agenda and registration, please visit here.
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Job opportunity: Clinical director, Homecare & Managed Care
First Quality
First Quality, a leading manufacturer of disposable home health care products, is seeking a clinical director for our Homecare & Managed Care Business. This candidate will provide leadership and have a focus on clinical education, utilization management protocols and programs and operational program development within home care and managed care markets.
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MHPA's Industry NewsBrief
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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