Covid-19 is pushing red states to finally expand Medicaid

“For the second time this summer, voters in a solidly Republican state have decided now is the moment to expand Medicaid coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

Missouri voters passed a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid during Tuesday’s primary elections; 53 percent of voters supported the measure and 47 percent opposed it. That vote comes about a month after Oklahoma voters also decided to expand Medicaid via ballot referendum by less than 1 percentage point.

Once the expansion takes effect in those two states next year, an estimated 340,000 people who currently have no affordable health insurance option will become eligible for Medicaid. That still leaves nearly 2 million people in 12 states nationwide who are stuck in the Medicaid expansion gap — ineligible for coverage because their state refuses to expand the program but with an income too low to qualify for tax credits to buy private insurance — but it is yet another step toward the universal Medicaid expansion Obamacare authors envisioned. In the last few years, voters in Idaho, Maine, Nebraska, and Utah have also approved Medicaid expansion via ballot initiative.”

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