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February 2013 St@teside

Medicaid Expansion Decisions

As governors continue to plan for their FY2014 budgets, the Medicaid expansion decisions continue to roll in. According to Kaiser Family Foundation’s, 26 governors and the mayor of the District of Columbia have come out in support of Medicaid expansion, 17 governors have voiced their opposition to it, and eight remain undecided or unclear about their stance.
Recently, there have been several governors who have reversed their previous stance opposing Medicaid expansion. New Jersey Governor Christie, Florida Governor Scott, and Ohio Governor Kasich have all decided to support Medicaid expansion in their respective states, noting that the expansion provides them with an opportunity to leverage federal dollars to reduce the number of uninsured residents in their states. 
While the governors continue to voice their stance, state legislatures still have to weigh in and could ultimately change the tide of Medicaid expansions in some states. Virginia’s legislature has brokered a deal with Governor McDonnell, an opponent of the expansion, leaving the door open if the White House approves its proposed Medicaid reforms. Meanwhile, in states such as Arkansas and Michigan whose governors support the expansion, the fate of whether it will move forward or not depends on the legislatures, who currently oppose pursuing the expansion.