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Capitol Correspondence - 02.25.19

Did Your Governor Say Anything Juicy? Politico State Solutions Summit Notes

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On Friday, ANCOR attended and/or followed Politico’s Ninth Annual State Solutions Summit – visit our Twitter page to see our commentary! This event takes advantages of governors being in Washington, DC for the National Governors Association’s winter meeting to invite them to panel discussions. For those unable to livestream, the full agenda for the event is available here and video will also soon be available on that same page.

While Politico reporters focused on many different topics in the interviews, including trade tariffs, the environment and national parks, oil and gas, pot and hemp legalization and the 2020 election, the following comments are of interest to the disability and Medicaid communities:

  • Governor Bevin (R-KY) stood by his state’s pursuit of Medicaid work requirements, saying he found it “bizarre to demonize” them.
  • Governor Herbert (R-UT), when pushed about his and the Utah state legislature’s decision to overrule and amend the state ballot initiative to expand Medicaid, focused heavily on Medicaid as a “budget buster.” When asked about using the state’s budget surplus for Medicaid, the Governor discussed competing priorities for the funds, such as school systems.
  • Governor Kelly (D-KS) shared her opposition to Medicaid work requirements, stating: “It’s a complete administrative nightmare and one I have no interest in inflicting on our state just to reach a compromise.”
  • Governor Polis (D-CT) mentioned he would advocate for Medicaid innovation waivers in the near future.
  • Governor Noem (R-SD) rejected the idea of Medicaid expansion for Native American tribes, stating that neither Medicaid nor Indian Health Services (IHS) were suitable solutions.
  • Governor Bryand (R-MS) stated he would not consider Medicaid expansion while a federal court is reviewing the constitutionality of Obamacare (also known as the Affordable Care Act).

Members wanting a more in-depth read on how the election changed the policy landscape at the gubernatorial level might be interested in this article by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

Members might also be interested in this additional information from Politico Pro:

MEANWHILE: ALEX AZAR and SEEMA VERMA made the rounds . The HHS secretary and CMS administrator, as well as other HHS officials, met with about 20 governors during the conference, including newbies Brian Kemp (R-Ga.), Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Brad Little (R-Idaho), Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) and Kevin Stitt (R-Okla.).

— One of their notable conversation partners: GARY HERBERT. The Utah Republican governor said he believed a decision on the waiver he’s seeking for his highly watched partial Medicaid expansion would come ‘soon.’”