Medicaid and controversy seem inseparable in many states lately. For the most part, the wrangling is about a new wrinkle in Medicaid — the expansion of the health program for the poor and disabled under Obamacare.
Mississippi, though, is raising the stakes. Democrats and Republicans in the state are in a fight, and the outcome could threaten the very existence of the entire Medicaid program there.
Call it the Affordable Care Act, call it Obamacare, call it whatever you want — it's coming. And soon. In less than four months people without health insurance will be able to start signing up for coverage that begins Jan. 1.
A lot has been said about the law, most of it not that understandable. So starting now, and continuing occasionally through the summer and fall, we're going to try to fix that.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, points during an intense conversation with President Obama after he arrived at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Ariz. She has since made light of the incident in trying to rally support for a Medicaid expansion in the state.
The Arizona Legislature is debating whether to extend Medicaid to about 300,000 people in the state. The expansion is a requirement to get federal funding under the Affordable Care Act.
The big surprise is who has been leading the charge: Republican Gov. Jan Brewer. She's one of President Obama's staunchest critics and has confounded conservatives in her own party by supporting the expansion.
Google the words "Brewer" and "Obama." You'll get a now-famous image of Brewer wagging her finger at the president on the tarmac last year when she met him in Phoenix.
The Supreme Court declined to intervene in a case involving Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood.
Credit J. Scott Applewhite / AP
In the first Planned Parenthood defunding case to reach the U.S. Supreme Court, the justices have refused to disturb a lower court decision that barred Indiana from stripping Medicaid payments to the organization.