Payer Roundup—Maine's new governor rejects state’s planned Medicaid work requirements 

Dollar bill with a hole in Washington's face on it and the word "Medicaid" in its place
“Mounting evidence demonstrates that work requirements only impose burdensome mandates on people without increasing workforce participation,” the governor’s office said. (zimmytws/GettyImages)

New Maine governor spikes state’s planned Medicaid work requirements 

Newly instated Maine Gov. Janet Mills has rejected work requirements in the state’s Medicaid program, which were requested by her predecessor and approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 

The waiver request submitted by former Gov. Paul LePage was approved on Dec. 21 shortly before he left office. Mills sent a letter to CMS saying that Maine would not implement the changes approved in the waiver and would instead offer job training and other supports to enrollees in its MaineCare program. 

The state’s Acting Commissioner of Health and Human Services Jeanne Lambrew noted that Maine is facing a workforce shortage, which could be exacerbated if people lose access to crucial care, such as coverage for mental healthcare or substance abuse treatment. 

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“Mounting evidence demonstrates that work requirements only impose burdensome mandates on people without increasing workforce participation,” the governor’s office said. (Announcement

KFF poll: Majority back public coverage expansion plans, including Medicare for all 

A majority of Americans are in favor of several plans that could expand access to Medicare and Medicaid, including a single-payer “Medicare for all” approach, according to a new poll. 

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) polled a random sample of 1,190 adults and found that 77%—including 69% of Republicans—support a Medicare buy-in that would allow people between the ages of 50 and 64 purchase Medicare. In addition, 75% of those polled, and 64% of Republicans, support a similar proposal in Medicaid. 

KFF found that 56% back a Medicare-for-all, single-payer approach, including 24% of Republicans. However, views changed when the foundation presented different arguments for and against.

For example, those polled were less likely to support Medicare for all when they were told it may increase wait times for care but were more likely to support it when told that it could guarantee healthcare as a right. (Announcement

Cigna CEO David Cordani on why the Express Scripts merger will advance value-based care 

David Cordani, CEO of Cigna, said the insurers high-profile acquisition of Express Scripts will help drive the industry’s transition from volume to value.

One key element in the deal, he told the Associated Press in an interview, is that the combined companies now have a wealth of data at their fingertips that can be used to accelerate population health programs and predictive analytics that are crucial to building value-based models.

As a large insurer, Cigna can also reward providers that are working hardest to move to greater value, he said.

“Those that are creating the most value get rewarded more, and the consumer benefits by getting more personalized, higher-quality care,” Cordani said. (The Associated Press)

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