Another conservative state opts for Medicaid expansion

The walls are closing in on the conservative politicians and their apologists in the right-wing think tanks who continue stand in the way of Medicaid expansion under the terms of the Affordable Care Act. That’s the only conclusion one can draw after yesterday’s vote in deeply-red Missouri.

As Politico reports this morning:

“Missouri voters on Tuesday approved Medicaid expansion to many of the state’s poorest adults, making their conservative state the second to join the Obamacare program through the ballot during the pandemic.

The Missouri ballot measure expands Medicaid to about 230,000 low-income residents at a time when the state’s safety net health care program is already experiencing an enrollment surge tied to the pandemic’s economic upheaval. The measure was supported by 53 percent of voters.

…Missouri becomes the sixth Republican-led state where voters have defied GOP leaders to expand Medicaid, just weeks after Oklahoma voters narrowly backed the program. No state has ever voted down such a ballot initiative in recent years, underscoring the popularity of Medicaid expansion even in parts of the country hostile to Obamacare”

Yesterday’s vote leaves North Carolina stuck in a small and shrinking group of holdouts that includes eight states from the old Confederacy, three mostly rural Midwestern states and the nation’s least-populated state (Wyoming). As has been the case in so many other areas of societal progress in recent months, it seems now as if it’s just a matter of time before obstructionist politicians like North Carolina legislative leaders Phil Berger and Tim Moore stand aside and get on board with expansion or face the prospect of voters making the decision for them.

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