In contrast to what’s coming out of North Carolina’s leadership, more news of support for Medicaid expansion by Republican leaders. The 6th Republican governor has come out in favor of Medicaid expansion. Michigan governor Rick Snyder came out in support of Medicaid expansion yesterday, joining the Republican governors of Ohio, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and North Dakota.
Even closer to home, serious discussions of expanding Medicaid are happening in our neighbor to the north. The Hampton Roads Daily Press reported that Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources spoke before a Senate panel Wednesday. He noted the financial benefits of expansion:
Hazel said Virginians would shell out $26.1 billion in taxes over the next decade under the ACA for Medicaid expansion. If the commonwealth doesn’t sign on that money would go to expand the program in other states. However, should Virginia expand Medicaid it would get $29.8 billion from the federal government.
In Virginia, concerns about a federal bait and switch were somewhat allayed by the option of including an automatic end to the expansion if federal money does not materialize:
Senate Republicans on the committee expressed interest in going forward with expansion, but wnat to insert an opt-out clause in the legislation if the federal government does not agree with Virginia’s reforms.
Hazel said he thought that would work noting that Ohio and Arizona have included opt-out clauses in their expansion plans if the federal government does not fund the program at promised levels.