States Size Up Senate Finance Committee’s Health Care Reform Plan
States could receive more federal funding for Medicaid under Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus' (D-Mont) bill, but they have expressed concerns about any program expansions, Reuters reports.
A summary of the bill said it would "increase federal Medicaid funding for states that cover recommended preventive services and immunizations at no extra cost."
The bill also would expand eligibility for Medicaid to those with annual incomes that do not exceed 133% of the federal poverty level and "provide additional funding to states for newly eligible Medicaid beneficiaries."
States also would be required to provide children in low-income families with services in addition to what Medicaid provides, although the costs would be shared between the states and the federal government (Lambert/Smith, Reuters, 9/16).
Policymakers in several states are considering amendments to state constitutions to block implementation of national health reform, Reuters reports.
According to some policymakers, a national health care plan oversteps the division of power inherent in the U.S. Constitution's 10th Amendment, which says that "powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states."
Michael Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center, said that Arizona lawmakers have placed an amendment on the November 2010 ballot and that similar measures are being considered by Florida, Georgia and Michigan. "Whether they pass and the next step -- whether they get approved by voters in the next year -- is another story," Boldin said (Pierog/Lambert, Reuters, 9/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.