While Republicans in Washington are working overtime to repeal and replace Obamacare, Republicans in statehouses across the country are actually working hard to expand it, reports Sarah Kliff.
“I feel so strongly it’s the right thing to do,” Susan Concannon, a Kansas Republican state legislator told Vox. “We have citizens who are uninsured and hospitals that are suffering.”
GOP lawmakers in several states have already introduced bills or supported ballot initiatives to expand the government program that covers low-income Americans, which could increase Obamacare enrollment by an estimated 200,000 people.
Seeing positive results in other states, Republican legislators in Maine and Kansas have been pushing to expand Medicaid for years now, and they are starting to see results, just as Obamacare is on the brink of repeal, says Kliff.
Expansion of the Medicaid program has split the Republican party “between those who see it as a crucial safety net for low-income Americans and those who see it as another expansion of a costly entitlement program that states don’t have the budget to fund,” notes Kliff.
It’s not going to be easy for Republicans to block grant their way out of a program that so many Americans depend on.