Will Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion Continue?
Indeed, most of them don’t mention Obamacare at all, and only one even mentioned health care. I’m sure that most — if they want to win a Republican nomination! — would support an Obamacare repeal, if asked. But that’s different from making repeal an actual priority.
The other big state decision on the ACA concerns running state-based exchanges, rather than letting the federal government do it. Not surprisingly, none of the Republican gubernatorial candidates I surveyed is campaigning to shut down a state exchange, which would force residents to use HealthCare.gov. (Even though the federal site is now mostly working fine, it was never really a comfortable fit for Republicans to support the federal solution before, and they certainly won’t now).
Again, I don’t want to make more of this than the evidence can support. But for what it’s worth, early evidence supports the liberal optimist (and conservative pessimist) view: that where it’s in place, Medicaid expansion is here to stay.
If that’s truly the case, then sooner or later Obamacare’s Medicaid component will expand to all 50 states. Eventually, every state will have a governor who is willing to embrace it. Provided that trend is not counteracted by reversals in states that were in the first wave of Medicaid expansion, we’re talking about a one-way street. The only question is how long it takes.
AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski