Despite previously opposing the health reform law, more Republican governors are endorsing one of the law's central provisions--Medicaid expansion. The decisions could even lead to a shift among GOP lawmakers nationwide.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder both announced last week their states will expand Medicaid. They follow Republican governors in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and North Dakota in committing to enlarge the state-funded healthcare program, Reuters reported.
These six states' willingness to move forward with President Obama's landmark law signifies an "inevitable movement that will ultimately result in Medicaid expansions in all states across the country," Ron Pollack, executive director of healthcare advocacy group Families USA, told Politico.
Bill Pierce, a senior vice president at APCO Worldwide, agreed. "You've now got a real conservative state, a battleground state and a blue state all signed up. If you're a Republican governor thinking about this, you fit into one of those categories," he told The Washington Post's Wonkblog.
Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers are hoping to add another Republican governor to the slowly growing list. Sens. Frank Lautenberg, Robert Menendez and six House members wrote to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, asking him to expand Medicaid because it's a "great deal" for the state, according to The Hill's Healthwatch.