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 BegichThe future of the Arctic 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map Trump campaign left out of Alaska voter guide MORE (Alaska), Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuFive unanswered questions after Trump's upset victory Pavlich: O’Keefe a true journalist Trump’s implosion could cost GOP in Louisiana Senate race MORE (La.) and Kay HaganKay HaganLinking repatriation to job creation Former Sen. Kay Hagan in ICU after being rushed to hospital GOP senator floats retiring over gridlock 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.

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“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 BurwellOvernight Healthcare: GOP chairman to introduce pre-existing condition bill ObamaCare enrollment hits 11.5M for 2017 Obama, Dems eyeing strategy to defend ObamaCare MORE, who is expected to replace Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusObama's health secretary to be first female president of American University Leaked email: Podesta pushed Tom Steyer for Obama’s Cabinet Romney: Trump victory 'very possible' 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.

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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.).