Medicaid update: More GOP states consider expansion

Although a handful of GOP members remain staunchly opposed to Medicaid expansion, an increasing number of Republican governors are reconsidering expanding the state-federal healthcare program.

Governors in Pennsylvania and Tennessee are actively working with the Obama administration to expand Medicaid. Indiana and Oklahoma are evaluating alternative versions of expansion. And Virginia, Maine and New Hampshire will likely expand Medicaid this year, Politico Pro reported.

Other Republican-led states like Kansas and Wyoming aren't ready to completely reject the idea of a Medicaid expansion. For instance, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback still is mulling whether to expand its Medicaid program, spokeswoman Sara Belfry told Politico. And Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead will "monitor the implementation of the ACA and remains open-minded if improvements are made to address his concerns" about Medicaid expansion, said Mead spokesman Renny MacKay.

In Iowa, state lawmakers and special Medicaid commission members are considering how to expand Medicaid by using public dollars to buy private coverage, as FierceHealthFinance previously reported.

And even more Republican states could decide to expand Medicaid after the primary season is over, partly because of hospitals and business groups pressuring GOP governors to accept federal dollars to expand the program, Deborah Bachrach, a consultant who works on Medicaid, told Politico.

But states like Florida might still face an uphill battle to expand Medicaid. After defeating Medicaid expansion last year, Florida Republican lawmakers have pledged to move on while Democrats insist it's still a top priority, reported the Miami Herald.

To learn more:
- read the Politico article
- see the Miami Herald article

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