At the arguments on Thursday, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union argued that Iowa’s Medicaid ban on transition-related care discriminated unlawfully on the basis of gender identity. The attorney representing the Iowa Department of Human Services said the women’s attorneys failed to show discriminatory intent. Medicaid news comes out of Utah, Mississippi, Wyoming and Idaho.
Des Moines Register: Iowa Supreme Court Hears Arguments On Medicaid Ban On Transition Surgery
Advocates for government assistance for transgender persons who are getting transition-related medical care sought a lasting victory Thursday before the Iowa Supreme Court. A judge has already ruled in their favor, reversing the state’s decision to deny Medicaid coverage to two transgender women. The state appealed, and the Iowa Supreme Court heard the case Thursday. (Nozicka, 1/24)
Politico Pro: Utah Lawmakers Look To Clip Medicaid Expansion
Utah lawmakers are moving to pare back a voter-approved expansion of Medicaid, marking the strongest GOP resistance yet to November ballot measures ordering states to adopt the program. Republican legislators in the state are considering whether to add work rules or other restrictions that could sharply curtail the program, including enrollment caps and the limitation of eligibility to those below the federal poverty line. (Pradhan, 1/24)
The Associated Press: Mississippi Medicaid Won’t Seek Midyear Infusion Of Money
Mississippi’s Medicaid director said Wednesday that the program will not seek additional money for the final half of the state budget year. This is the first time that has happened in the past five years. Director Drew Snyder told lawmakers that enrollment has decreased, accounting for some savings. (Pettus, 1/23)
Jackson Hole Daily: Schwartz Pushes Medicaid Expansion
A local lawmaker is taking another swing at Medicaid expansion, which would grant health care to a swath of low-income Wyomingites but has fallen on deaf ears in the Wyoming Legislature in recent years. Rep. Andy Schwartz’s flagship House Bill 244, introduced Thursday, would extend Medicaid eligibility to anyone earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Medicaid advocates like former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Throne have called the move a “no-brainer” way to ensure coverage for more residents. (Mohr, 1/24)
Idaho State Journal: Exchange Enrollment Expected To Drop 20% Due To Medicaid Expansion
Enrollment in Idaho’s health insurance exchange is expected to drop by 20 percent, the exchange’s executive director told lawmakers Thursday. About 18,000 of Your Health Idaho’s enrollees make between 100 and 138 percent of the poverty level, Pat Kelly told the House Health and Welfare Committee. Once Medicaid expansion takes effect, which is expected to happen on Jan. 1, 2020, these people will no longer qualify for the tax credits they use to pay for their insurance and will likely move onto Medicaid. (Brown, 1/23)
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