Payer Roundup—Pelosi appears open to single payer; Virginia Medicaid expansion is finally law

Nancy Pelosi
Ahead of the midterm election, Nancy Pelosi is signaling she is open to Medicare for all, while in Virginia, Medicaid expansion is finally law. (Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 2.0)

Pelosi: 'Medicare for All' should be examined

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters June 7 that if the Democrats take back the House, Medicare for All should be "evaluated."

"It's all on the table," she said.

A single-payer healthcare model has been championed by progressives. However, such a legislative proposal would likely face an uphill battle in Congress even if Democrats take back both chambers this November.

Pelosi, who is seeking another term as speaker of the House if her party prevails in the midterm elections, also renewed her support for a public option. (C-SPAN)

Virginia Medicaid expansion is finally law

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed into law a budget that includes Medicaid expansion, the final scene in a yearslong drama.

The expansion "will empower nearly 400,000 Virginians with access to health insurance by expanding Medicaid, without crowding out other general fund spending priorities," Northam said in a statement.

The state Senate and House approved expansion May 30 and, as part of a compromise, Democrats agreed to implement Medicaid work requirements starting in 2020. (Statement)

Insurers might pass on extended MA coverage

Insurers may decline to offer extended Medicare Advantage benefits to seniors to dissuade them from joining their plans, researchers say.

The Chronic Care Act, which was passed as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, allows Medicare Advantage insurers to pay for certain nonmedical services in order to reduce costly hospital readmission.

But insurers might pass on the expanded coverage to stop severely ill—and costly—seniors from joining their plans, an analysis by the The New England Journal of Medicine found.

"These changes may attract the sickest beneficiaries who require the costliest care to switch from traditional Medicare to Medicare Advantage," researchers said. (The New England Journal of Medicine)