Medicaid expansion sees the light in some states, disappears in others

Medicaid expansion has received little love lately. Nationwide, state lawmakers cotinue to battle over whether to accept federal money to expand the program. While some states are moving forward, others remain at a standstill. Here's a quick round-up of where three states stand.


The Montana House made moves late Thursday to make Medicaid expansion become a reality by endorsing the program's expansion bill in a 54-46 vote, reported the Missoulian. Once the House and Senate reconcile one amendment, the bill will head to the desk of Gov. Steve Bullock (D), who is expected to sign it, according to the Hill.

Earlier this week, during a lengthy testimony from both proponents and opponents of the expansion bill, a Republican House committee killed the last legislation allowing the state to take federal money. However, supporters triumphed and resurrected the bill thanks to procedural rules and a last-minute push from moderate Republicans, reported Reuters.


Gov. John Kasich (R) foresees his state's expanded Medicaid program continuing without using the state's budgetary panel, known as the Controlling Board, to sidestep lawmakers to draw down the funds, reported Insurance News Net. Kasich's $72 billion, two-year budget anticipates continuing Medicaid expansion despite some lawmakers believing otherwise.

Ohio Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) does not expect expansion to remain a part of the budget but rather be moved into a separate bill, noted the article. Faber said he's willing to allow a floor vote on the manner but doesn't believe the caucus supports the program.


Earlier this month, after two days of hearings, a state Senate committee dismissed Gov. Bill Haslam's (R) proposal for Insure Tennessee, the state's alternative to Medicaid expansion for a second time. This marked the first time a Republican governor had pushed for healthcare expansion, only to have it seemingly erased by a GOP-controlled legislature, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

Perhaps one reason for the bill's defeat was strong conservative opposition backed by political group, Americans for Prosperity. Their main case against expanding the program is linking it to the Affordable Care Act, which remains unpopular among Republicans, reported Reuters.

For more:
- here's the Missoulian article
- check out the Hill piece
- read the Reuters article
- here's the Insurance News Net piece