I’ll not belabor the point in any great detail, but Monday morning, I wrote a piece excoriating Tennessee Governor Haslam — for failing his poorer constituents, and dragging his feet on accepting the federal money available for Medicaid expansion in his state.
So, should these plans move forward — as is the case with plans proposed in Ohio and Arkansas (also states with Republican Governors) — Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius would have to be very vigilant in insisting that the private coverage equal or exceed that available under Medicaid. That means no “creeping” co-pays, or well-doctor visit co-pays. In short, it will (in my experienced opinion) return these states to a “bob-and-weave” health care delivery non-system, for these states’ poorest citizens.
Here is a bit of the fine Huff Po article — do go read it all:
. . . .Haslam said during an address before a joint session of the Tennessee Legislature. . . . “I’d like to put in place a program to buy private health insurance for Tennesseans that have no other way to get it than by using the federal money.”
Obama’s health care law seeks to expand Medicaid to anyone earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $15,282 for a single person this year, but states can opt out. The chief executives of 25 states and the District of Columbia have declared their support for the Medicaid expansion, while more than a dozen Republican governors have ruled it out.
Under the health care law, the federal government will pay the full cost of enrolling these newly eligible people from 2014 through 2016, after which the share would gradually decline until it reaches 90 percent in 2022 and future years. . . .
Despite outlining his proposal, Haslam told legislators he wouldn’t push them to move forward absent an OK from the Obama administration that would guarantee the state’s access to new federal dollars. . . .
The good and compassionate people of Tennessee ought to demand better of their Governor — and legislature. I will keep the readers posted on this — as it develops. [Obviously, broader, deeper coverage would benefit Merck, and all of pharma — but especially so, the generic drug manufacturers. That is why I follow it.]