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Posted: 2018-11-08 15:44:04

CBPP. This map dates from May 2018; since that time, Maine’s expansion is now considered in effect.

November 7, 2018; Los Angeles Times and Vox

When the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010, Medicaid expansion was supposed to happen automatically. But in 2012, even as the US Supreme Court upheld the law in National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius, it also restricted its application, finding, as Adam Liptak wrote in the New York Times, that “Congress had exceeded its constitutional authority by coercing states into participating in the expansion [of Medicaid] by threatening them with the loss of existing federal payments.”

To date, 33 states and the District of Columbia have elected to expand their Medicaid systems to provide greater health insurance coverage. But in the remaining 17 states, approximately 2.2 million lack the healthcare coverage they would have otherwise received. These people fall into the category of “working poor,” earning too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid but too little to be able to afford health insurance on their own. According to a recent report from the Center for American Progress, extending coverage to all of these 2.2 million would save over 14,000 lives a year.

Tuesday’s elections will extend coverage to at least 300,000 of these 2.2 million. In three states where Medicaid expansion was on the ballot, voters made their wishes known. Sarah Kliff summarizes the election returns in Vox:

In Idaho, the Medicaid expansion passed by an especially large margin, with 61 percent in favor and 39 percent against. The Nebraska expansion passed with a tighter margin: 53 percent of voters in favor, and 47 percent against. And in Utah…the vote still hasn’t been certified by the state, but…the proposition leads with 54 percent of the vote.

These votes raise the number of states with expanded Medicaid to 36. But other states may join them. In Kansas, and Wisconsin, Republican governors had blocked Medicaid expansion,

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