“I have been a huge fan of the popular Healthy Indiana Plan since it was conceived by former Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2008 as a way to expand sensible health coverage to uninsured Hoosiers.

Daniels’ successor, Gov. Mike Pence, is unveiling his own 2.0 version of the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) during a talk at the American Enterprise Institute today, but the plan already is getting a great deal of pushback from conservatives. The original HIP program relies largely on state funding, but the new version will draw primarily on federal funding by expanding Medicaid, an option granted to the states under the Supreme Court’s rewriting of the ACA.”

“From the beginning of my tenure as governor in 2013, we have been saying no to ObamaCare in Indiana. We refused to set up a state-based exchange, and we have said we will not expand traditional Medicaid. We have a better alternative in a program that offers Indiana’s working poor the chance to get insurance and control their own health care.”

“Surgery patients covered by Medicaid arrive at the hospital in worse health, experience more complications, stay longer and cost more than patients with private insurance, a new study has found.”

“Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Thursday said he wants to use Medicaid funding under the federal health-care law to expand coverage in his state, but that any expansion of it would have to come on his own terms.

The proposal is the latest from a small group of mostly Republican governors pursuing alternative ways to tap billions of dollars in federal Medicaid money available under the Affordable Care Act. Most GOP governors are refusing the additional federal money outright, while those who have wanted to expand Medicaid faced objections from GOP-led legislatures.”

“Opponents of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion have traditionally argued that it will significantly burden state budgets and provide people with substandard health coverage. A new academic paper suggests what may be the strongest argument yet against the expansion: that it will keep many beneficiaries in poverty because it creates strong disincentives for work.”

“Arkansas’ “Private Option” Medicaid expansion has generated significant interest among red-state policymakers and the national press. And now that more data on the potential price tag is coming to light, Razorback taxpayers are taking notice too. Cost overruns are racking up and Arkansas officials are now considering asking for a Washington D.C. bailout, forcing all federal taxpayers to pick up the tab for a poorly-designed program. The state’s Medicaid director has abruptly resigned, and the political winds are gusting strongly against the program in Arkansas, at least among Republicans.”

“As regular NRO readers will know, one of the key races that Republicans need to win in order to retake the U.S. Senate is occurring in Arkansas, where Representative Tom Cotton is challenging Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor. The race to replace Cotton in the House of Representatives, while not nearly as consequential, is also quite interesting, because a central issue in that campaign is the fact that the Republican-led state legislature worked with the Democratic governor to implement Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.”

“According to a new Avalere Health analysis, 17 of the 26 states that did not expand Medicaid in the first three months of 2014 still reported growth in Medicaid enrollment, ranging from 0.1 percent in Texas to 10.1 percent in Montana. Since these states had decided not to expand Medicaid eligibility levels under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), these numbers show the impact of the “woodwork effect,” which is when individuals who were previously eligible, but not enrolled in Medicaid, newly sign up as a result of increased outreach and awareness. These enrollees may place a strain on state budgets, since states are required to contribute to the cost of their coverage based on traditional Medicaid matching rates.”

“Even states that refused Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion are seeing enrollment growth in the health-care program, according to a new analysis.
Medicaid enrollment in 17 of the 26 states that hadn’t expanded Medicaid as of the end of March saw their rolls increase by a combined 550,300 new beneficiaries, reports the Avalere Health consulting firm.”

“Enrollment in California’s healthcare program for the poor has soared as the state implements President Obama’s federal overhaul, pleasing advocates who have sought expanded coverage but also presenting new costs for the state.

Nearly one-third of California’s total population — roughly 11.5 million people — will be enrolled in Medi-Cal next year, according to Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration.

Enrollment is expected to exceed previous estimates by 1.4 million, and administration officials said it would cost the state $1.2 billion more than originally thought.”