Iowa judge overturns state’s ban on Medicaid covering transgender medical procedures

An Iowa judge has overturned the state’s ban on allowing Medicaid to cover the costs of surgical procedures for transgender people. In his ruling Thursday, Chief District Judge Arthur Gamble ordered the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) to immediately approve Medicaid coverage for the two petitioners, Carol Ann Beal and EerieAnna Good.

Both Beal and Good had already changed all of their documentation to reflect their identities, but were denied coverage for medically nec...

Virginia governor signs Medicaid expansion bill into law

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed a two-year $115 billion budget that includes Medicaid expansion Thursday, making the state one of more than 30 that have expanded Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The bill will provide health coverage to about 300,000 to 400,000 low-income residents, and many individuals — about 138,000 people fall in the state’s coverage gap — could be insured for the first time.

“It has been a long road to get...

More than 100 arrested nationwide for rallying for health care and environmental protection

Activists with the national Poor People’s Campaign faced backlash from government officials and law enforcement during nationwide protests Monday. More than 100 people in Kentucky, Kansas, California, New York, Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, Ohio, and Washington, D.C. were arrested or blocked from entering government buildings.

The campaign, which marks 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference organized thousands of Americans...

How to improve the health care of 825,000 people? By ballot

Big things are happening for more than 800,000 million people nationwide.

Effective January 1st, roughly 400,000 people will have Medicaid insurance in Virginia; in New Jersey, another 275,000 people will see their Obamacare premiums reduce next year; and 150,000 undocumented Californians could soon have health coverage for the first time.

And political participation made it all possible.

Turnout for Virginia’s gubernatorial race last November was the highest in ...

As Kentucky rushes to remake Medicaid, advocates try to protect health care for the homeless

Adrienne Bush isn’t a fan of Medicaid work requirements — or as she, the executive director of the Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky, puts it, “coercing people into minimum wage jobs.” In 32 days, Kentucky will begin rolling out its new Medicaid program that conditions insurance on work, along with a host of other new eligibility requirements. So, now, Bush’s priority is harm reduction.

“Right now I’m very worried about implementation and people fal...

Michigan scrapped its racist Medicaid work exemption. But it’s still happening elsewhere.

Michigan Republicans are dropping a plan to exempt 17 overwhelmingly white counties from the state’s proposed Medicaid work requirements.

State Sen. Mike Shirkey (R), the bill’s sponsor, told the Associated Press that lawmakers are removing a provision to exempt Medicaid beneficiaries who live in counties with high unemployment, saying it’d be too difficult to administer. Instead, Shirkey said he is drafting a new bill that lowers the hours of work requirements and...

Health Department secretary open to national Medicaid work requirements

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told a Senate panel Thursday that he’s willing to work with Congress on legislation that would require people to work a designated amount of hours or lose Medicaid.

States that want to implement Medicaid work requirements have so far sought federal permission to do so, by waiver, but now, Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-LA) is aiming to go further by proposing that the federal government impose work requirements across the board in ever...

Trump administration stops short of approving the most restrictive Medicaid policy yet

The Trump administration just denied Kansas’ request to create an unprecedented “lifetime limit” on Medicaid, a federal insurance largely for the poor and disabled.

“We seek to create a pathway out of poverty, but we also understand that people’s circumstances change, and we must ensure that our programs are sustainable and available to them when they need and qualify for them,” Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma ...

The racial redlining in Michigan’s Medicaid work requirements

There are a lot of problems with work requirements for Medicaid.

They aren’t necessary because the majority of people who can work, work already; they would increase the ranks of the uninsured; and despite what supporters think, they wouldn’t actually pull people out of poverty but could further hurl them into it.

But there’s also another big issue: Medicaid work requirements could increase racial disparities in health care.

Last week, the Michigan Se...