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The Election Is Over, But Not the Shouting

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, November 8, 2012

Thirty or so Republican governors, including a few newly elected ones, will make decisions with their state Legislatures about whether and how much to expand Medicaid, and whether to have and how to structure their health insurance exchanges. And they will be screaming at Washington to give them more money or at least some relief.

It's going to be a fragile dance to figure out how to stretch federal subsidies for qualifying low-income people to purchase healthcare insurance in exchange for agreements from certain states to raise Medicaid eligibility levels that cover more people.

"We kind of are at the end of the road when we talk about a fiscal cliff. Something is going to have to be done," said former Senator Blanche Lincoln, D-AR, a member of the Senate Finance Committee from 1998 to 2011, during a webinar yesterday sponsored by Premier, Inc., the quality and purchasing collaborative for 2,715 hospitals and other providers.

"We realized that with all these financial issues that we're talking about, one of the 'for sure' places that Congress usually goes when looking for revenue is healthcare, and that's going to be something we have to pay particular attention to," she said.

The election may be over, but not the shouting.

Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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