What We're Reading: Latest in Medicaid Expansion; Pain Treatment; Anthem May Exit ACA

Kansas Governor Vetoes Medicaid Expansion

While Kansas’ GOP-controlled state legislature voted to expand Medicaid, Governor Sam Brownback vetoed the bill. According to The Wall Street Journal, the veto was expected and lawmakers plan to override it. To do so, supporters of expansion would need 27 votes in the state Senate and 84 votes in the state House. Meanwhile, in Arkansas, lawmakers voted to keep the state’s hybrid expansion program. In May, state lawmakers will consider the governor’s proposal to move 60,000 people off Medicaid expansion and into the marketplace and impose work requirements on some expansion participants.

No More Opioids for Pain Treatment

As opioid addiction continues to ruin lives, doctors are increasingly turning to alternative treatment options for chronic pain. Primary care physicians are also looking to non-pharmacologic options, such as acupuncture and physical therapy, for patients seeking treatment for back pain, migraines, and other chronic pain issues, reported California Healthline. Physicians are becoming wary of prescribing opioids and treating chronic pain, which is making it more difficult for patients in pain to get help.

Analyst Predicts Anthem Will Leave ACA Market

June 21, 2017, marks the day when insurers will have to decide if they are staying in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance exchanges for 2018. With Aetna and UnitedHealth already scaling back operations and Humana withdrawing completely, Anthem is considering exiting most ACA exchanges, reported The Washington Post. Anthem currently sells in 14 states and covers 839,000 members through the ACA exchanges.