Mind the Gap

It will be interesting to see if the Republicans in the states that decided not to expand Medicaid as part of ACA will pay a political price for the outcome. From the Wall Street Journal:

Some GOP-led states are revisiting their decision as complaints pile up over the coverage gap—and its consequences for businesses—in such states as Utah and Florida. The state senate in New Hampshire last week reached a tentative deal to expand Medicaid. In Virginia, newly elected Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe hopes to get legislators to reverse his Republican predecessor's stance against expansion.

Lawmakers are also getting a push to boost Medicaid rolls from hospitals that expected a vast new pool of paying customers under the health-care law. Instead, the failure to expand Medicaid coverage by some states not only adds fewer insured patients, it also eliminates the payments hospitals had long received to cover the cost of uninsured people they treat free…

Eugene Steuerle, an Urban Institute economist and former Treasury Department official who served under presidents in both parties, said he couldn't recall a social program that excluded beneficiaries because they earn too little…

Governors in some states that refused to expand Medicaid now say the coverage gap is hard to ignore. "I am not a fan of the Affordable Care Act," Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said in an interview. But, he said, he is working with state legislators on a plan to expand Medicaid after advisers calculated that about 60,000 of his constituents would fall through the gap.

"That is not fair," Mr. Herbert said. "When I say doing nothing is not an option, I'm talking about the 60,000 people in Utah who live below the poverty line and don't have access to health care."

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