The Health 202: Democrats are still wrestling with how to fully expand Medicaid

It’s crunchtime. Congressional negotiators are grappling with thorny questions as they rush to craft a plan extending health coverage to 2.2 million poor adults.Democrats have pledged to use Biden’s massive social spending bill to expand Medicaid in the dozen states where GOP officials have refused to do so for nearly a decade. The Washington Post, Read More.

CMS funnels $452 million for state reinsurance programs

The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will announce Tuesday it plans to send $452 million to more than a dozen states’ reinsurance programs.The big picture: The Biden administration has previously signaled support for these programs, which directly compensate insurance companies for some of their most expensive claims, preventing an increase in premiums.By the numbers: The additional funds allocated through the American Rescue Plan range from $2.5 million to $139 million per state based on the size of the state’s program. Axois, Read More.

New infections are up 316% from last Labor Day; first-responders not rushing to get vaccine: Live COVID-19 updates

Daily coronavirus infections are more than four times what the U.S. was seeing on Labor Day last year, or a 316% increase, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. And daily deaths are almost twice as high. Blame the highly contagious delta variant and a swath of Americans refusing easily accessible vaccines that most of the developing world is furiously scrambling to obtain. USA Today, Read More.

Medicaid Vaccination Rates Founder as States Struggle to Immunize Their Poorest Residents

Medicaid enrollees are getting vaccinated against covid-19 at far lower rates than the general population as states search for the best strategies to improve access to the shots and persuade those who remain hesitant.Efforts by state Medicaid agencies and the private health plans that most states pay to cover their low-income residents has been scattershot and hampered by a lack of access to state data about which members are immunized. The problems reflect the decentralized nature of the health program, funded largely by the federal government but managed by the states.KHN, Read More.

100,000 more COVID deaths seen unless US changes its ways

The U.S. is projected to see nearly 100,000 more COVID-19 deaths between now and Dec. 1, according to the nation’s most closely watched forecasting model. But health experts say that toll could be cut in half if nearly everyone wore a mask in public spaces.In other words, what the coronavirus has in store this fall depends on human behavior.AP News, Read More.

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