What We're Reading: Extending Funding for Medicaid Expansion

What we're reading, January 14, 2016: President Obama proposes extending financial assistance for new states expanding Medicaid eligibility; Hillary Clinton goes hard after Bernie Sanders on single-payer healthcare; and health information exchanges reduce repeated imaging procedures.

With the clock counting down President Obama’s last year in office, the administration is trying to sway states that have held out against expanding Medicaid. The president is proposing to extend financial assistance for any state that chooses to extend the eligibility of the program, according to The Wall Street Journal. Currently, the funding is only available to states through 2016, but Obama will ask Congress to include an additional 3 years of full federal funding.

As Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) gains on Hillary Clinton, shrinking her lead to just 2 points in Iowa, the debate between the 2 has turned to single-payer healthcare, reported Vox. Sanders is in favor of a single-payer system in the US, which would mean all Americans receive health insurance from the government. However, Clinton is attacking the concept and attempting to convince voters that Sanders’ plans are unrealistic and poorly constructed.

The use of health information exchanges (HIEs) lead to fewer repeated X-rays, ultrasounds, and other imaging tests being ordered. A study of a 13-county region found the use of an HIE reduced the odds of a procedure being repeated within 90 days by 19%, which generated an estimated annual savings of $32,460, according to Healthcare Informatics.