Focus turns to Medicaid expansion in wake of King v. Burwell ruling
Now that the Supreme Court has ruled to uphold federal Affordable Care Act subsidies in the King v. Burwell case, focus turns to the states--and Medicaid expansion.
"I'm going to work as hard as I can to convince more governors and state legislatures to take advantage of the law, put politics aside and expand Medicaid and cover their citizens," President Barack Obama said in a speech after the ruling Thursday.
There already have been signs that Republican leaders in non-expansion states are coming around, according to Forbes, enticed, in part, by generous federal financial aid.
Indeed, one of the most vocal opponents of Medicaid expansion, Gov. Rick Scott (R-Florida), said Thursday that he has dropped his lawsuit against the federal government regarding expansion, thanks mainly to the fact that the state reached an accord with the Obama administration in May to extend federal hospital funding.
In Utah, the King v. Burwell ruling may have removed the last remaining hurdle to Medicaid expansion, according to the Deseret News. "We've had a lot of very constructive deliberations. But this ruling lets us really kind of ramp it up," state House Speaker Greg Hughes, a Republican, told the publication.
In North Carolina, Republican Gov. Pat McCrory said Thursday that as his state considers Medicaid expansion, it will evaluate the how other states have fared that have decided to expand the program, WRAL reports. Many of these states have enjoyed substantial financial gain from Medicaid expansion, according to an April brief from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Yet leaders in some states remain unconvinced of the merits of Medicaid expansion. Just this week, a group of state attorneys general petitioned Republicans in Congress to push back against the Obama administration's "coercive efforts" to compel them to expand the program.
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