In the mid-term election, voters in Idaho, Nebraska and Utah voted to expand Medicaid eligibility to about 300,000; Montana voters rejected a new funding option for its expansion program.Medicaid expansion is now available in 37 states and the District of Columbia. Idaho’s measure won by 22 points and is expected to extend Medicaid coverage to about 62,000. In Nebraska, the race was tighter at 6 points with a coverage gain of about 90,000. In Utah, an 8-point win means about 150,000 more residents in the state will qualify for Medicaid.
In Montana, nearly 60,000 Medicaid beneficiaries receive benefits through expansion. In a close vote in 2015, the state approved the measure with a 2019 sunset date. This year’s initiative to fund expansion with a tobacco tax hike was rejected by Montana voters by a 10-point spread.
Idaho: 61% to 39%
Nebraska: 53% to 47%
Utah: 54% to 46%
Montana: 55% to 45%
While supporters of expansion may be inclined to celebrate, they only need to look to Maine, which last fall became the first state to pass expansion through voter referendum. The state’s Republican Governor Paul LePage continues to fight against its implementation – the court fight is scheduled for today, November 7, 2018.
Learn more about the Medicaid expansion vote from Health Leaders Media
Get more details from NPR
Read about how the tobacco tax torched the Montana expansion from Kaiser Health News