What We're Reading: Oklahoma Votes on Medicaid Expansion; Studies Highlight Rare Inflammatory Syndrome; ACA Expansion Bill

June 30, 2020

Voters in Oklahoma will decide whether or not to amend the state's constitution to expand Medicaid; new studies find that nearly 300 children in the United States have contracted a rare inflammatory disorder related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); the House of Representatives passed a bill aimed to bolster the Affordable Care Act.

Oklahoma to Vote on Medicaid Expansion

Pair of Studies Highlight Rare COVID-19-Related Inflammatory Syndrome

House of Representatives Passes ACA Expansion Bill

Voters in Oklahoma will head to the polls today to decide whether to expand Medicaid to tens of thousands of low-income residents, the Associated Press reports. If the measure passes, the state would be the first to amend their constitution to reflect the expansion. A constitutional amendment will prevent the Republican legislature from rolling back coverage in the future. Although Idaho, Maine, Nebraska, and Utah all expanded Medicaid through ballot questions, they did so through amending state statutes. Missouri is scheduled to vote on a similar constitutional amendment on August 4.Two new studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine found nearly 300 children in the United States have been infected with a multisystem inflammatory syndrome related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Although most children recovered from the condition, there is currently not enough data to understand long-term or permanent damage. Among the 285 infected children, 6 passed away. The hyperinflammatory syndrome has dermatologic, mucocutaneous, and gastrointestinal manifestations and was associated with cardiac dysfunction in some patients. The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill to expand the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also called Obamacare), The Hill reports. The bill would increase the ACA’s subsidies to help individuals afford their premiums and add more funding to increase Medicaid expansion. The move comes as the Trump administration last week asked the Supreme Court to repeal the entire ACA, claiming the elimination of the individual mandate rendered the whole law unconstitutional. Proponents of the bill argue repealing the ACA during a global pandemic would only worsen the country’s health outcomes.