Overnight Health Care: GOP Georgia governor proposes limited Medicaid expansion | Sanders calls his 'Medicare for All' plan 'more progressive' than Warren's | Oklahoma Supreme Court blocks law targeting abortion procedure

Overnight Health Care: GOP Georgia governor proposes limited Medicaid expansion | Sanders calls his 'Medicare for All' plan 'more progressive' than Warren's | Oklahoma Supreme Court blocks law targeting abortion procedure
© Getty Images

Welcome to Monday's Overnight Health Care. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) proposed a partial Medicaid expansion waiver that the Trump administration has already indicated it won't approve. And the debate is heating up among Democrats after Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenPoll: Sanders leads Biden by 9 points in Iowa Poll: Biden leads in Iowa ahead of caucuses The Memo: Impeachment dominates final Iowa sprint MORE (D-Mass.) released her plan to pay for Medicare for all.

Let's start in Georgia: 

 

ADVERTISEMENT

GOP Georgia governor proposes limited Medicaid expansion

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) proposed a limited form of Medicaid expansion that would offer coverage to some low-income adults who work, volunteer or go to job training 80 hours a month.

The proposal stops short of the full-scale Medicaid expansion supported by Democrats, which would cover thousands more low-income adults regardless of their employment status.

Kemp's proposal, called Georgia Pathways, would cover adults who meet the work requirements and who are at or under 100 percent of the federal poverty level -- about $12,490 a year for an individual.

"Unlike Medicaid expansion, which will literally cost billions of dollars, Georgia Pathways will not bankrupt our state or raise taxes on our families or our businesses," Kemp said at an event Monday morning.

Why it matters: Kemp ran a competitive race for governor against Democrat Stacey Abrams. While she supports Medicaid expansion, Kemp ran against it, vowing to expand access to health care in a more conservative way. 

A "real" Medicaid expansion extends coverage to people at or below 138 percent of the poverty level, about $17,236 for an individual. 

ADVERTISEMENT

A partial Medicaid expansion is supposed to be a compromise. But there are still roadblocks to eligible people accessing that limited expansion, argues Eliot Fishman, a Medicaid expert with Families USA. 

"The proposal incorporates work requirements, premiums and a variety of barriers to actually getting people covered. It's going to limit the number of people who can benefit from this," he said. 

While Kemp said the waiver would expand access to health care for 408,000 Georgians, his office estimates there will only be 52,000 people signed up for the program by the end of year five. 

The proposal might also be illegal. Work requirements have already been blocked in other states. And the administration has indicated it will not approval partial Medicaid expansion proposals that also request a full funding match from the federal government. It rejected a similar proposal in August. 

Read more here.  

 

Sanders calls his 'Medicare for All' funding plan 'more progressive' than Warren's

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is getting hit from both the left and right after releasing her Medicare for All plan last week. 

"The function of health care is to provide health care to all people, not to make $100 billion in profits for the insurance companies and the drug companies. So, Elizabeth Warren and I agree on that. We do disagree on how you fund it. I think the approach that (I) have, in fact, will be much more progressive in terms of protecting the financial well-being of middle income families," Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPoll: Sanders leads Biden by 9 points in Iowa Poll: Biden leads in Iowa ahead of caucuses The Memo: Impeachment dominates final Iowa sprint MORE (I-Vt.) told ABC News.  

The debate: Sanders said his 7.5 percent payroll tax is more progressive than Warren's plan to simply send what employers are spending now on private insurance to the government instead. 

Bigger picture: Warren has been under pressure for details for weeks. Now that she's released them, there is fodder for her critics on both the left and the right. 

Read more here

 

And from the other direction... Buttigieg knocks Warren on 'my way or the highway' health care plan

ADVERTISEMENT

South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegPoll: Sanders leads Biden by 9 points in Iowa Buttigieg on polarization: 'We don't have to choose between being bold and being unified' Buttigieg: America 'united in mourning' Kobe Bryant's death MORE on Sunday criticized a health care plan by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a fellow 2020 White House hopeful, as a "my way or the highway idea."

"What is just not true is that hers is the only solution. This 'my way or the highway' idea. That either you're for kicking everybody off their private plans in four years or you're for business as usual, it's just not true," Buttigieg said on ABC's "This Week."

"The way I would do it, you get to keep your private plan if you want to," he added.

Asked on Sunday about Medicare for All, Buttigieg said he thinks it "could very well be the long-run destination." 

But he added that people should get to choose it.

"Let's put this out there and see if it's really the best plan for everybody. I think it will be the best plan, but I'm not willing to assume that it is the right plan for you... and order you to take it," he said.

Read more here

ADVERTISEMENT

 

Oklahoma Supreme Court temporarily blocks law banning common abortion procedure

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked the state from enforcing a ban on a common abortion procedure. 

In a 6-2 decision, the court ruled that Oklahoma could not enforce a ban on dilation and evacuation abortions, the most common method used in second trimester pregnancies. 

The preliminary injunction will remain in effect while the state Supreme Court decides whether the ban is lawful. 

The Center for Reproductive Rights asked the court to block the ban from taking effect after an Oklahoma state trial court upheld it earlier this year.

"Today's decision means Oklahomans can continue receiving high-quality, evidence-based abortion care," said Autumn Katz, senior counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights.

ADVERTISEMENT

Why it matters: Similar laws have been blocked in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky and Texas. So it came as a shock to abortion rights activists when an Oklahoma state trial court upheld the ban. 

Read more here.

 

What we're reading: 

FDA keeps brand-name drugs on a fast path to market - despite manufacturing concerns (Kaiser Health News)

Why didn't she get Alzheimer's? The answer could hold a key to fighting the disease (The New York Times

Alzheimer's drug approved in China delivers a surprise but also questions (STAT)

 

State by state:

Residents suffer as Mississippi and 13 other states debate Medicaid expansion (NBC News)

Proposed work requirements for Medicaid in Montana worry seasonal workers (NPR)