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Some patient groups refuse to participate in NCHC's drug-price campaign
Inside Health Policy
Some patient groups that are part of the National Coalition on Health Care are not participating in that coalition's campaign against high drug prices, and at least one group left the coalition following the announcement of the effort. Those decisions to not join the campaign illustrate the difficulty in getting patient groups to unite against high drug prices, in part because drug makers often fund patient groups, yet patients are crucial to publicly pressuring drug companies to lower their prices, critics of specialty drug prices say.
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Opinion: Private option architect loses election, is Medicaid expansion turning toxic for state lawmakers?
U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's stunning loss in the Virginia primary to underfunded insurgent candidate David Brat sent shock waves through the national political establishment, but its impact on the American people may rival the outcome of a state senate primary in Arkansas, as the architect of the "Private Option" Medicaid expansion lost his primary largely on the expansion issue.
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Pence picks new social services chief to push Medicaid alternative after sudden exit by Minott
The Columbus Republic
Indiana Governor Mike Pence picked a new secretary to run the Family and Social Services Administration and created a new position overseeing his proposed alternative to traditional Medicaid. Pence announced that Carmel psychiatrist John Wernert would take over the state's largest agency, the first medical doctor to oversee it. Meanwhile, former FSSA secretary Michael Gargano will return in a new role as deputy secretary for operations and the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0, Pence said.
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In Virginia, Medicaid expansion fight escalates
The Washington Post
Two state workers gained access to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's deserted office suite one recent Sunday, on a mission from Republican House Speaker William J. Howell. Watergate it was not. The workers were escorted by the chief of Capitol Police. Their assignment: to drop off a copy of the state budget bill.
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Medicaid decision shows up in Missouri personal income numbers
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Missourians' incomes grew more slowly than the national average during the first quarter, but government transfer payments accounted for all of the gap. Personal income grew by 0.6 percent in Missouri in the first quarter, versus 0.8 percent in the U.S. Missourians' earnings — wages, salaries and business income — actually grew a bit faster than the national average.
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Nixon blames sluggish economy on Medicaid inaction
Columbia Daily Tribune
Missouri's sluggish economy and lagging employment in the health care industry are direct results of the state legislature’s refusal to accept federal dollars to expand the state’s Medicaid program, Gov. Jay Nixon said. Nixon issued a statement that reacted to a report released Friday by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, or MERIC, showing health care job growth in Missouri is falling behind the states that have accepted federal money for Medicaid expansion.
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Most who signed up on NY health exchange chose Medicaid
Poughkeepsie Journal
New York's health exchange enrolled nearly 1 million people since October, and the largest percentage were age 26-34, a state report released Wednesday found. New York nearly met its enrollment goal for 2016 in its first year of the health exchange, signing up 960,762 state residents, the report from the state Health Department said.
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Salt Lake County shuffles money to cover Medicaid hole
The Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake County officials have come up with a plan to stretch their human-services programs until, they hope, Utah legislators accept some form of Medicaid expansion. It won't come without some human pain, however. About 3,200 recipients of substance abuse and mental health services will have their treatments trimmed back over the last half of 2014.
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A look at CBO projections for Medicaid and CHIP
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
Medicaid is the nation's primary health insurance program for low-income and high-need Americans. States administer Medicaid within broad federal rules and have a lot of flexibility to design their programs. Medicaid is jointly financed by the states and the federal government. The Affordable Care Act expands Medicaid to a national eligibility floor of 138 percent of the federal poverty level and provides significant federal funding for this new coverage.

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Report: Vitter open to Medicaid expansion
The Hill
Republican Sen. David Vitter, who is running for governor of Louisiana, expressed support for Obamacare's Medicaid expansion under certain circumstances. Vitter, an outspoken critic of the healthcare law, reportedly said he would support extending free healthcare to low-income adults as long as it didn't draw resources away from other priorities.

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The Sovaldi tax: Gilead can't justify the price it's asking Americans to pay
A cure for hepatitis C is within reach for 170 million people around the world — thanks to the charitable efforts of poor and sick Americans who are picking up the tab by paying outrageous prices for their own treatment. It's like Robin Hood in reverse. This is what happens when a pill is priced at $1,000 a day in the U.S., and an entire treatment regimen of 84 of those pills costs just $900 in Egypt. Exact same medicine, completely different pricing.

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Missed our previous issues? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    MHPA strengthens government affairs team with lobbyist Jeannine Bender (MHPA)
Facing a $168 million price tag for new hepatitis C drugs, Oregon Health Plan balks (The Oregonian)
Virginia passes budget with Medicaid restriction (The Associated Press via The Washington Post)
GAO calls for more oversight of managed care (The Hill)
Seizure of assets from Medicaid recipients becomes heated issue in California (San Jose Mercury News via St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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