GOP Governors Battle Their Own Over Medicaid Expansion

Monday, 03 Jun 2013 12:15 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Republican governors who back Obamacare's expansion of Medicaid to provide health coverage for millions of uninsured Americans, are finding themselves in conflict with GOP legislators who staunchly oppose the 2010 healthcare law.

According to The Washington Post, a number of Republican governors have endorsed an expansion of Medicaid, unwilling to turn down millions, and possibly billions, in federal funding that would pour into their states for low-.
income residents.

Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona, Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, and Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan are facing battles with fellow Republicans who disagree with the president's healthcare initiative. Brewer has declared a moratorium on all other legislation until her Medicaid plan is approved; in Ohio and Michigan, the governors are working on last-minute compromises before their legislatures adjourn for the summer, the Post reported.

Under the expansion plan, the federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost for newly eligible Medicaid recipients for the first three years.

In addition to their ideological opposition to Obamacare, lawmakers in some states are concerned about its budget impact aftger the first three years, when the federal government tapers its support to 90 percent.

"For the last five years, almost every one of us Republicans have been bashing Obamacare and vilifying the federal government for irresponsible government spending," said Arizona state Rep. John Kavanagh, a Republican. "I have never seen a more toxic vote for Republicans than to vote yes on this expansion."

Nineteen states have decided against expanding Medicaid since the Supreme Court ruling last year giving them the authority to do so. Another eight states are still debating it, while 23 others and the District of Columbia have agreed to expand their rolls.




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