ACA Medicaid Expansion may be coming to even *more* Socialist Enclaves like...Oklahoma and Missouri
The recent elections in Virginia, Kentucky and Louisiana had two things in common: The first is that all three were huge victories for Democrats (they took control of both the state House and Senate in Virginia, flipped the Governor's seat in Kentucky and held onto it in deep red Louisiana).
The second is that all three elections were won in large part based on...Medicaid expansion.
As Greg Sargent notes in the Washington Post:
Yet Edwards won, in large part, by also stressing his implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion in the state during his first term. Indeed, Edwards’s lead pollster, Zac McCrary, told me during an interview that no single issue was more important in driving the governor’s victory.
...The Medicaid expansion was also a very important issue in driving the Democratic win in Kentucky (though the deep unpopularity of Republican incumbent Matt Bevin helped), and in fueling the Democratic takeover of the Virginia state legislature on the same day. (Health care also helped drive the 2018 Democratic takeover of the House via many suburban, Republican and Trump districts).
In Louisiana, Edwards ran multiple TV ads featuring ordinary people with serious health problems talking directly to the camera about how much they relied on the Medicaid expansion, which covers nearly a half-million people.
Edwards also ran ads savaging the health care plans of his GOP opponent businessman Eddie Rispone, who seriously fudged his intentions but left no doubt that he’d dramatically alter the program and potentially roll it back.
...The result, McCrary said, is that “even in these deep-red states, Medicaid is approaching the popularity of Medicare and Social Security,” and isn’t perceived as “some type of welfare program.”
Well, after citizen coalitions managed to pass Medicaid expansion in other solid GOP states like Idaho, Utah and Nebraska last year (even if the state legislatures and governors have since tried their best to gunk the programs up regardless, with varying levels of "success"), for 2020, it looks like two more red states will be voting on the program as well:
In Red State Oklahoma, Medicaid Expansion Nears 2020 Ballot
A campaign in Oklahoma to expand Medicaid via the ballot box far eclipsed the necessary number of signatures needed to put the measure before voters next November 2020, supporters said Thursday.
The submission of 313,000 signatures to put a constitutional amendment on next year’s general election ballot shattered the required 178,000 needed by the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s office, organizers said. Media reports in Oklahoma said supporters of Medicaid expansion broke a state record when it comes to signatures needed for a statewide ballot initiative.
The Oklahoma effort is just the latest momentum in Republican-leaning states where lawmakers and governors have blocked efforts to expand health insurance coverage to more poor Americans under the Affordable Care Act. Supporters in Missouri through the coalition Healthcare for Missouri are also working to win support for a referendum for the November 2020 general election.
The hope by supporters of Medicaid expansion is that voters in Missouri and Oklahoma will follow the lead of successful ballot initiatives last year in Nebraska, Idaho and Utah. Those states, like Maine in 2017, bypassed Republican governors and legislatures to expand Medicaid by public referendum.
Missouri isn't as far along as Oklahoma, but they're on their way as well. via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Washington University has put big money behind its support of Medicaid expansion in Missouri, contributing $250,000 on Friday to an effort that would place a question on next year’s November ballot.
The check to Missourians for Healthcare came after Chancellor Andrew Martin and Dr. David Perlmutter, dean of the School of Medicine, on Nov. 4 issued a joint letter endorsing the ballot initiative.
...“For those dealing with serious illnesses, such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease, access to medical care is often a matter of life or death,” the Nov. 4 letter said. “Every day, we see patients at the Medical Campus who arrive with late-stage terminal illnesses that might have been prevented with earlier treatment.”
...The campaign must collect approximately 172,000 signatures by May to place the question on next November’s ballot. Organizers said earlier this month they had collected about a quarter of the required signatures.
The estimated number of people who would qualify varies depending on the source, but it looks like roughly 200,000 in each state would become eligible, or 400,000 if both measures pass.
To get involved: