Vulnerable Dems among those urging Medicaid expansion under O-Care

Some of the most vulnerable Democratic senators have signed on to a Wednesday letter asking Republican governors to "put politics aside" and expand Medicaid coverage under ObamaCare.

Democratic Sens. Mark BegichMark BegichSenate GOP deeply concerned over Trump effect Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Unable to ban Internet gambling, lawmakers try for moratorium MORE (Alaska), Mary LandrieuMary Landrieu oil is changing the world and Washington Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Republican announces bid for Vitter’s seat MORE (La.) and Kay HaganKay Hagan10 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2016 Senate Republicans are feeling the 'Trump effect' Washington's lobby firms riding high MORE (N.C.), who are running tight midterm reelection races, were among the 20 who signed the letter. The letter was addressed to their three governors, along with 15 others.

ADVERTISEMENT
“Your state’s decision not to expand health coverage is creating two Americas: one where millions are benefiting from preventive care and covered treatments while local economies get stronger and healthier by the day; and another where patients continue to show up to emergency rooms without a way to pay and the local economies are falling further and further behind,” the senators wrote.

“Again, we urge that you put politics aside and do the right thing in helping to expand Medicaid coverage to the millions of Americans who desperately need it,” they added.

Under the Affordable Care Act, states can expand Medicaid to poorer Americans, and the cost is overwhelmingly covered by the federal government.

However, several states have decided against implementing the provision because they are concerned the federal government may not be able to hold up its end of the bargain to pay for coverage.
 
The signatories urged the Republican governors to expand Medicaid to 6 million more people in their states whose incomes are too high for current coverage but too low to qualify for premium tax credits under ObamaCare insurance plans.

The senators also noted Sylvia BurwellSylvia Mathews BurwellReid: McConnell 'stringing us along' on Zika Lawsuits mount against FDA regs on e-cigarettes HHS launches contest to make bills simpler MORE, who is expected to replace Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusFighting for assisted living facilities The chaotic fight for ObamaCare California exchange CEO: Insurers ‘throwing ObamaCare under the bus’ MORE as Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary, has said she plans to work with states to be flexible in how they implement Medicaid expansion as long as it falls within the law.

“This was a reaffirmation of HHS’s commitment to work with states, and we would encourage you to begin discussions about how best to provide coverage for the people who fall into this coverage gap,” they said.

The letter was signed by Sens. Chris MurphyChris MurphyOvernight Healthcare: Mysterious new Zika case | Mental health bill in doubt | Teletraining to fight opioids Hopes dim for mental health deal Senators push tougher sanctions against Iran MORE (D-Conn.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Tim JohnsonTim JohnsonFormer GOP senator endorses Clinton after Orlando shooting Housing groups argue Freddie Mac's loss should spur finance reform On Wall Street, Dem shake-up puts party at crossroads MORE (D-S.D.), Jay RockefellerJay RockefellerLobbying world Overnight Tech: Senators place holds on FCC commissioner Overnight Tech: Senate panel to vote on Dem FCC commissioner MORE (D-W.Va.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseWhy Kaine is the right choice for Clinton Report: More, stronger cyber attacks to flood networks Senate Dems push Obama for more Iran transparency MORE (D-R.I.), Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerDem suggests race factored into Obama Senate endorsement Obama, Biden back Kamala Harris in Calif. Senate race Tim Scott says he was targeted by Capitol Police MORE (D-Calif.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillWatchdog faults Energy Department over whistleblower retaliation Wagner passes on NRCC bid, backs Stivers Senate Dem: Trump will pick 'handsome' Pence MORE (D-Mo.), Ben CardinBen CardinBernie’s ‘revolution’ marches to Philly Senate Dems introduce Iran sanctions extension Senators push tougher sanctions against Iran MORE (D-Md.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders: Wasserman Schultz made 'right decision' to resign from DNC Dem Committee chairwoman will resign after convention Top DNC official calls for shake-up in wake of email scandal MORE (I-Vt.), Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalSenate Dems push Obama for more Iran transparency Congress sends first major opioid bill to Obama's desk Opioid package clears key Senate hurdle MORE (D-Conn.), Tammy BaldwinTammy BaldwinNBA pulls All-Star Game from NC over bathroom law Mike Pence out-of-touch with New Midwest Senate Dems push Obama for more Iran transparency MORE (D-Wis.), Charles SchumerCharles SchumerThe Trail 2016: Unity at last This week: Congress eyes the exits in dash to recess Former Gillibrand aide wins NY House primary MORE (D-N.Y.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandTexas rep uses Snapchat to prompt border control discussions GOP probes EPA response to NY state water contamination Dems separated by 29 votes in NY House primary MORE (D-N.Y.), Patty MurrayPatty MurrayOvernight Energy: Officials close in on new global emissions deal NBA pulls All-Star Game from NC over bathroom law 40 senators seek higher biodiesel mandate MORE (D-Wash.), Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowDems to GOP: Admit Trump is 'unfit' to be president Senate Dems push Obama for more Iran transparency GMO labeling bill good for both environment and the poor MORE (D-Mich.), Martin HeinrichMartin HeinrichWeek ahead: Republicans dig into FCC agenda Dem senators blast ‘sprawling’ expansion of spy power Overnight Cybersecurity: Questions linger after Clinton email probe MORE (D-N.M.) and Tom HarkinTom HarkinGrassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Do candidates care about our health or just how much it costs? MORE (D-Iowa).

It was sent to Republican Govs. Robert Bentley (Ala.), Sean Parnell (Alaska), Rick Scott (Fla.), Nathan Deal (Ga.), Butch Otter (Idaho), Sam Brownback (Kan.), Bobby Jindal (La.), Paul LePage (Maine), Phil Bryant (Mississippi), Dave Heineman (Neb.), Pat McCroy (N.C.), Mary Fallin (Okla.), Nikki Haley (S.C.), Dennis Daugaard (S.D.), Bill Haslam (Tenn.), Rick Perry (Texas), Scott Walker (Wis.) and Matt Mead (Wyo.).