Red states try everything but straightforward Medicaid expansion — and the latest is Oklahoma

Red states that opposed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during Barack Obama’s presidency are more likely to implement the 2010 law now, under Donald Trump, albeit with limitations — and Oklahoma is a fine example of this phenomenon.

To the surprise of Obamacare wonks, Oklahoma lawmakers in a key committee passed a Medicaid expansion bill this week — sort of. The bill directs the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to create a “Oklahoma Plan” within the state&#...

What if public insurance covered abortion care?

What if public health insurance paid for abortion? More and more people are beginning to ask that question.

With support for Roe v. Wade stronger than ever before, reproductive rights advocates have moved the “Overton window” of what policy ideas are considered feasible. Now, instead of simply defending the right to abortion, they’re talking about securing access.

Advocates have been trying to get public insurance to cover abortion for some time now...

Major hospital lobbying group comes out against ‘Medicare at 50’ bill

On Wednesday, Senate Democrats introduced a bill that would allow people to buy into Medicare beginning at age 50 — and already major players in the health care industry are coming out against it.

Around noon, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced “Medicare at 50,” legislation to let people between 50 and 64 years old buy Medicare coverage when they are shopping on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. It took industry lobbying groups only an hour to come out agai...

Trump talks unity but offers no olive branch

President Donald Trump paid lip service to unity and bipartisanship during his second State of the Union address Tuesday night. But he put forth no solution to the divisive problem facing the country later this month: another potential government shutdown.

Trump used the bulk of his address to mislead the country about immigration and border security, economic development and criminal justice, abortion and foreign policy. He inexplicably claimed credit for preventing a war with Nort...

Idaho Republicans seek to limit Medicaid expansion against the will of voters

Idaho Republicans are looking into several proposals aimed at hobbling a successful ballot initiative to expand Medicaid in the state, joining a growing list of red states trying to limit health care coverage against the will of voters.

Republican lawmakers have considered plans to apply work requirements, co-pays, and lifetime limits. They also plan to ask the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to grant the waivers before the ballot initiative goes into effect on Jan....

Utah Senate passes bill limiting Medicaid expansion in favor of costly alternative

The Utah Senate voted Monday to partially repeal a ballot measure that would have expanded Medicaid to nearly 150,000 low-income residents in the state, weeks after voters overwhelmingly cast their ballots in favor of the initiative.

The legislation now moves to the state House, where it is also expected to pass. Gov. Gary Herbert (R) is also expected to sign the measure.

Senators voted 22-7 largely along party lines to pass GOP-sponsored legislation that would cap the pool o...

Cory Booker launches 2020 campaign with attempt to rewrite Big Pharma history

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is running for president, hoping, as he said in his announcement video last week, to “channel our common pain back into our common purpose.”

The former Newark mayor announced his campaign Friday morning, doing away with the pesky business of exploratory committees and “testing the waters” to plunge right into the fray. He spent his first day on a breakneck sprint, doing three radio interviews — all with hosts of color — bef...

What single-payer advocates want to hear from 2020 Democratic primary contenders

In the fall of 2017, with more than three years to go before the next presidential election, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced Medicare for All legislation in the Senate. The bill racked up a long list of high-profile co-sponsors, many of whom were already being talked about as 2020 contenders.

Since then, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) — all co-sponsors of Sanders bill — have jumped into the Democratic fray. So, to...