Alaska: Governor's Medicaid Expansion Bills Stall in Legislature

Governor Bill Walker’s (I) Medicaid expansion bill, HB 148, hit a roadblock this week when the House Finance Committee announced it would not move forward with the legislation due to concerns with backlogs in the State’s Medicaid provider payment system, as reported by Alaska Dispatch News. Governor Walker had called the Legislature into a special session at the end of April after lawmakers failed to pass a budget and encouraged the Legislature to take up expansion. The Governor noted his disappointment with the Committee's decision, and administration officials contend that problems with the Medicaid system have been fixed. Meanwhile, the Senate has yet to hold a hearing on its Medicaid expansion bill during this special session.

Louisiana: House Agrees to Financing Mechanism for Medicaid Expansion

The Louisiana House voted 96-0 in support of a financing mechanism that could help pay for Medicaid expansion if the State were to expand by April 2016, a deadline imposed in the legislation. House Concurrent Resolution 75 would allow Louisiana hospitals to assess fees on themselves to generate the State's share of Medicaid expansion costs and draw down billions of federal dollars in matching funds. The Resolution must be passed by the Senate, but does not require the governor’s signature. While Governor Bobby Jindal (R) has repeatedly refused to expand Medicaid, he is not permitted to run for re-election next year. The four lead gubernatorial candidates have, at a minimum, expressed interest in exploring options for expansion.