2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

Alaska & Wyoming may be the next ACA Medicaid Expansion Denial states to cross off the list

Alaska:

On the campaign trail, Bill Walker made expanding the state’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act one of his top priorities. He said he could make the decision without input from the state legislature:

“It’s up to the Governor to accept that.”

But when Walker takes office next month, will it really be so easy to expand a program that has been a tough sell in other conservative states?

Medicaid expansion would allow around 40,000 low income Alaskans– mostly childless adults, to receive health benefits. The federal government will pay 100 percent of the program until the end of 2016. After that, the state’s share will slowly increase to 10 percent by 2020. Walker has said the decision is a no-brainer, at least while the federal government is providing full funding.

Wyoming:

With a plan released Wednesday by the administration of Gov. Matt Mead, a Republican, Wyoming has become the latest state seeking to expand Medicaid.

The plan would provide Medicaid coverage to an additional 18,000 low-income people, according to the state’s health department. If it wins federal and state legislative approval, Wyoming will join 27 states that have expanded the program under the Affordable Care Act, including nine with Republican leadership.

The Wyoming article gives the current tally as 27 states, but I have it as 29 including DC. The odd man out is Pennsylvania, which I believe has already pushed through their plan (an Arkansas-like "private option" model, I believe), but which hasn't actually gone into effect yet.

So, add Wyoming and Alaska to the mix and you're up to 31 out of 51 (including DC). Tennessee supposedly has a private option-style plan in the works as well, which would make it 32 if implemented.