What We're Reading: Seeking Planned Parenthood Cuts; Jails as Rehab; Medicaid in Maine, Kentucky

August 21, 2018

Senator Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, wants to attach his proposal to cut funding for Planned Parenthood to a massive defense, HHS, labor, and education funding bill that is currently being debated on the Senate floor; nearly 1 in 5 jail and prison inmates regularly used heroin or opioids before being incarcerated, making jails a place for intervention, treatment, and rehabilitation; in Maine, residents who applied for health coverage under Medicaid expansion are still waiting to hear from the governor, and in Kentucky, the governor was rebuffed in his lawsuit against 16 residents who sued the state over Mediciaid work requirements.

Paul Seeks to Add Planned Parenthood Cuts to Spending Bill

Senator Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, wants to attach his proposal to cut funding for Planned Parenthood to a massive defense, HHS, labor and education funding bill that is currently being debated on the Senate floor, The Hill reported. The amendment would prevent federal funding from going to the organization and others that perform abortions. But the senator could struggle in that effort, as Senate leadership has agreed to avoid attaching so-called "poison pill" proposals to their legislation.

Few Jails Offer Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

Nearly 1 in 5 jail and prison inmates regularly used heroin or opioids before being incarcerated, making jails a place for intervention, treatment, and rehabilitation. However, few prisons offer the standard treatment for opioid use disorder: medication, counseling, and social support. Kaiser Health News reported that cost and a long-standing belief that the best way to overcome addiction is abstinence are barriers, as are the licensing requirements for methadone and buprenorphine.

Maine Waits for Medicaid Expansion; Ky. Governor Sees Setback in Work Requirement Case

The Associated Press reported on 2 developments related to Medicaid expansion in Maine and work requirements in Kentucky. In Maine, residents are still waiting to see if Republican Governor Paul LePage will provide health coverage to those who applied. An advocacy group released a letter that seems to indicate the state will reject applications, but a lawyer for Maine refused to elaborate. LePage has said he’d rather go to jail than jeopardize Maine’s finances by expanding Medicaid to 70,000 to 80,000 low-income residents. In Kentucky, Republican Governor Matt Bevin was rebuffed in an attempt to get a federal judge to hear his lawsuit against the 16 residents who are suing the state over Medicaid work requirements. A Bevin spokeswoman said the case was dismissed on “procedural grounds.” The judge signaled that the legality of Bevin’s Medicaid plan would be sorted out in an ongoing, separate case, where a different federal judge has blocked the work requirements from taking effect.