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  • Virginia House Passes Medicaid Expansion, Sends to Senate  Associated Press — The Virginia House of Delegates has approved a state budget that would expand Medicaid eligibility to about 400,000 low-income adults. The Republican-led House approved the state spending plan Tuesday with bipartisan support, but the measure still has to pass the state GOP-controlled Senate. Lawmakers are taking another stab at passing a budget after attempts during the regular session ended in a stalemate over disagreement about Medicaid expansion, a key part of former President Barack Obama's health care law. After years of near-unified opposition to Medicaid expansion, Virginia Republicans are now split on the issue. The proposed budget now moves to the Senate, which has previously rejected Medicaid expansion. But pro-expansion lawmakers are now in the majority after a GOP lawmaker recently announced his support.

  • The High Cost of Taking Away Prisoners' Medicaid Coverage  CNN by Lydia DePillis — Local jails and prisons are required to provide prisoners with adequate health care. But the interruption of federal and state programs inmates had been depending on can cause major problems, making it more likely that people will cycle in and out of jail. Federal rules prohibit states from billing Medicaid for any inmate care unless the covered individual requires a hospital stay of at least 24 hours. They also cut off Social Security and Disability payments and some veterans' benefits. Medicaid benefits are taken away as soon as a suspect has been booked into jail, whether they've been proven guilty or not. If they are convicted and incarcerated, Social Security and VA benefits disappear 30 and 60 days later, respectively. Some states simply suspend benefits, allowing inmates to pick them back up as soon as they're released. But 34 states still terminate enrollment either immediately or after the prisoner spends a certain period of time behind bars.

  • Michigan Senate Wants Many Medicaid Recipients to Find Jobs  Detroit Free Press by Kathleen Gray —The debate ranged from experiencing the "joys of work" to a more spiritual take about helping the "least of these," but in the end, work prevailed and the full Senate passed legislation Thursday that would require many recipients of Medicaid to be gainfully employed for at least 29 hours a week. Sen. Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, said the work requirements were an essential element of keeping viable the Healthy Michigan program, which has 680,000 low-income Michiganders enrolled in an expansion of Medicaid. But Democrats said the legislation was both unneeded and immoral.

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