By Peter Sullivan - 05/01/15 05:22 PM EDT
More than 11.7 million more people have health insurance through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance through ObamaCare, new data show.
The new report from the Obama administration shows that as of the end of February, there were over 11.7 million more people enrolled in the programs compared to the period before October 2013, when ObamaCare’s coverage expansion went into effect.
The numbers come on top of another 11.7 million people who signed up for private insurance through the law’s marketplaces.
ObamaCare expanded eligibility for Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor, up to 138 percent of the poverty line, which is about $33,000 for a family of four.
However, some Republican-led states have declined to expand the program, citing factors like the cost and increasing people’s dependency on government.
The new data show that Medicaid enrollment grew by almost 27 percent in expansion states, compared to 8 percent in non-expansion states.
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) made Montana the 29th state to expand Medicaid when he signed legislation on Wednesday.
Ten states with Republican governors have expanded the program, often putting in conservative twists like requiring people to pay premiums.
The Obama administration has been pushing states to expand the program. Florida, where 800,000 people could gain coverage, is a particularly intense battleground.
"It's difficult to explain why somebody would think that their political situation and their political interest is somehow more important than the livelihood and health of 800,000 people that they were elected to lead," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said of the Florida situation last month.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) argues that the administration is trying to illegally coerce the state into expansion by linking separate federal funds to the decision, and has sued.