Proof That Obamacare is Here to Stay: Kentucky

Sarah Kliff in Vox: “Kentucky was the first state in the country where a Republican governor won on a platform of undoing his Democratic predecessor’s Medicaid expansion. The fact that Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has decided to drop the issue suggests something important about the politics of Obamacare: Once a state uses the health law to expand its Medicaid coverage, it’s incredibly difficult to shrink the benefit back down.”

“The Bevin situation shows that reversing course on Medicaid expansion has a completely different dynamic: There are half a million Kentuckians who rely on the program, who have an easier time paying their health care bills, and who would face difficulty accessing doctors if the expansion disappeared. Those people don’t exist in Texas, which never expanded the program. But they exist in Kentucky, and that matters.”

“This underscores how crucial the first decision to expand Medicaid becomes and the legacy it creates. That’s powerful for Obamacare supporters, who are pushing more states to expand. They most likely won’t have to lobby, over and over again, for states to continue their Medicaid expansion.”

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