“Medicare for All” proposals may vary greatly, but a common feature is their call for the regulation of prices for hospital care. This element has widespread support among establishment Democrats, and it lacks the enormous cost and controversy associated with other aspects of single-payer health care.

Comprehensive hospital-payment regulation is not a new idea: it’s been widely tried at the state level for half a century, including in Maryland—the only state where it remains. Maryland therefore provides a useful case study.

Pennsylvania state leaders on Tuesday touted their plan to transition from the federal insurance exchange, healthcare.gov, to their own online marketplace as a move that will save money and improve access to affordable health insurance.

Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday signed legislation establishing a state-based exchange where Pennsylvania residents who buy individual health plans can shop for coverage.

The Maine Senate unanimously advanced a package of bills on Tuesday aimed at reducing prescription drug prices, including a Canadian drug importation program modeled on a first-in-the-nation Vermont law that would need federal approval.

The legislative push is led by Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, and endorsed by AARP Maine. It looks to lower drug prices in the nation’s oldest state by median age, where people have often made bus trips to neighboring Canada for access to price-controlled prescription drugs that have been the subject of action in Maine over the past decade.

Citing the need to reduce rising health care costs, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Tuesday that would allow Florida to pursue importing prescription drugs from abroad — though components of the bill will still require federal approval to take effect.

HB 19 will open up three pathways for bringing medication in from different countries, including Canada, through a 2003 federal law that tasks federal officials with authorizing state plans to import prescription drugs. No state has received such approval in the 16 years since the bill was passed, but DeSantis, surrounded by a half-dozen lawmakers in the Villages, said he is confident Florida will clear those hurdles when the state asks for the approval likely next year.

California will become the first state to pay for some adults living in the country illegally to have full health benefits as the solidly liberal bastion continues to distance itself from President Donald Trump’s administration.

Democrats in the state Legislature reached an agreement Sunday afternoon as part of a broader plan to spend $213 billion of state and federal tax money over the next year. The legislature is expected to approve the deal this week. The agreement means low-income adults between the ages of 19 and 25 living in California illegally would be eligible for California’s Medicaid program, the joint state and federal health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

If any state can serve as the poster child for the problems associated with ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, it’s Louisiana, which joined the expansion in 2016, after Democrat John Bel Edwards became governor. An audit released last year exposed ineligible Medicaid beneficiaries, including at least 1,672 people who made more than $100,000. But Louisiana’s Medicaid expansion has revealed another waste of taxpayer funds, both in the Pelican State and nationwide: the money spent providing coverage to people who already had health insurance.

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has long advocated for market-oriented solutions to Georgia’s health care challenges. The Foundation has released a report analyzing the cost and potential impact of two Section 1332 State Innovation Waivers the governor could consider:

  • A reinsurance program that would apply to all large insurers in the state and “reimburse accumulated claim costs that exceed a set threshold within a given year.”
  • A Georgia primary care access option, which would require large insurers to offer at least one plan that includes a direct primary care model.
California lawmakers are headed for a showdown over how many illegal immigrants should qualify for government-subsidized health care. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed allowing unauthorized immigrants under age 26 to enroll in Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program. Some members of the legislature, which is dominated by Democrats, have proposed that low-income people of all ages should be eligible, regardless of their immigration status. Both would be first-in-the-nation expansions and represent another step by California to enact economic and social policies in defiance of the Trump administration, including more financial support for those in the country illegally.

Would expanding Medicaid in Alabama bankrupt the already cash-strapped state budget and further sink our country into unsustainable levels of national debt? “When you expand Medicaid, the administrative costs and the cost of expansion will eventually swamp the state,” warned U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL). “It has in other states. Illinois is about to go bankrupt.” States that expanded Medicaid have signed up more than twice as many “able-bodied adults” than expected and per-person costs have exceeded original estimates by a whopping 76%, according to a 2018 report by the Foundation for Government Accountability. This led to cost overruns of 157%, the report showed, with Medicaid now accounting for one of every three state budget dollars.

Tennessee is charging ahead to become the first state in the nation to ask the Trump administration for Medicaid funding in a lump sum—a radical overhaul of the entitlement program that critics warn could force major cutbacks in healthcoverage for low-income people. State Republican lawmakers last week, emboldened by the Trump administration’s promise to provide states with more flexibility to run their Medicaid programs, approved legislation requiring Tennessee to submit a Medicaid block grant plan to the federal government within six months. The legislation now goes to Republican Gov. Bill Lee, who will sign the bill, a spokesperson said.