Governors Once Opposed to Medicaid Expansion, Now Working Toward It

January 11, 2016

Countless governors across several states, both Democratic and Republican, who were originally uninterested in expanding their Medicaid programs are working toward expansion for 2016, but will need approval from Republican-dominated legislatures, according to The New York Times.

As of January 11, 2016, 30 states and the District of Columbia have expanded their Medicaid programs, while 20 are still debating on their decision to expand. Federal waivers were given to those states involved in expansion, which many will use as “Medicaid money” to pay for private insurance.

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Ohio governor, John Kasich, currently in the running for the Republican presidential nomination, was one of the first to understand that expanding Medicaid could potentially bring in billions of dollars in federal matching funds. When faced with Republicans who opposed but dominate the legislature, the governor “bypassed them with a tactical maneuver that allowed a separate board to expand the state’s Medicaid without legislative approval,” according to The New York Times.

“In several states that have not expanded or are still debating, pragmatic Republican governors find themselves at odds with ideologues in Congress and with right-wing groups that want to destroy Obamacare at all costs,” read The New York Times report.

The report said that the federal government will pay 100% of the cost for newly eligible enrollees in 2016, 95% in 2017, then continuously phasing down in subsequent years—Alessia D’Anna

Reference

Governors get smarter on Medicaid. The New York Times. January 11, 2016.