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Short Cuts: 11 red states push to keep tax credits; NE trying new enrollment strategies; Medi-Cal adding millions but dropping some as well

Their governors might have hated Obamacare, but their attorneys general just love that Obamacare money.

Eleven states that chose not to set up their own health-care marketplaces filed court papers on Monday supporting the legality of federal subsidies that help their residents buy insurance plans through HealthCare.gov.

Those subsidies are being challenged by four lawsuits that claim only enrollees of health-care exchanges set up by an individual state can get that financial assistance, in the form of tax credits.

With enrollment now open for the federally run health insurance marketplace, Nebraska community groups are taking new approaches to reach out to those who lack coverage.

Community groups have handed out flyers at farm and craft shows, staffed booths at Nebraska county fairs and distributed bookmarks at libraries and coffee shops. A Community Action group in Lincoln is once again participating in a televised "phone-a-thon" to catch the public's attention. Private insurers are using online videos and mailings.

When it comes to expanding health coverage to its poorest residents, California could be taking two steps forward and one step back.

Even as the state celebrates its enrollment of more than 2.7 million low-income Californians in Medi-Cal in 2014, it may drop an unusually high number of beneficiaries from its rolls by year’s end.

That is because Medicaid eligibility standards relating to income and household size changed under the Affordable Care Act, forcing the 8.6 million people who had been on the program before Jan. 1 to apply under the new rules. (Medi-Cal is California’s version of the federal Medicaid program.)