President Donald Trump is expected to name an ex-Eli Lilly executive as his pick for HHS secretary; Connecticut's new budget will cut Medicaid eligibility; Nebraska lawmaker seeks a Medicaid expansion ballot vote.
Alex Azar, the former president of Lilly USA and deputy secretary of HHS under President George W. Bush, is rumored to be the top choice to run the HHS. Bloomberg reported that President Donald Trump is expected to announce Azar as his pick to lead HHS after Tom Price, MD, resigned from the position at the end of September. Similar to others in Trump’s administration, Azar has advocated for giving states more flexibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and as HHS secretary, he would have authority over many aspects of how the law is implemented.\A recent budget passed in Connecticut will result in about 9500 fewer people being eligible to receive healthcare through Medicaid. Reducing eligibility for the program will save the state approximately $11 million, according to WNPR. Most individuals who are kicked off the plan will still have access to low-cost ACA plans because they have access to federal subsidies. However, the move will also take away state help through a program that subsidizes Medicare Part B premiums for elderly and disabled people.After watching Maine residents vote in favor of expanding Medicaid through a ballot measure, a Nebraska lawmaker wants to give his constituents the same chance. According to The New York Times, a Nebraska state senator will propose a resolution to place the issue on the general election ballot for November 2018. Nebraska lawmakers have already rejected 5 previous attempts to expand Medicaid, but the senator is hoping his colleagues who oppose expansion might be open to letting voters weigh in.