AARP presses governors to accept Medicaid expansion

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The group said it helped push Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) to accept the Medicaid expansion and is also targeting Arkansas, where Gov. Mike Beebe (D) is negotiating with the federal government about related changes to its Medicaid program before making a decision on the expansion.

“Expanding Medicaid will help millions of 45 to 64-year-olds who have lost their jobs or are struggling without health benefits, but don’t currently qualify for Medicaid health coverage,” AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond said in a statement.

Seven Republican governors have defied conservative activists to accept the Medicaid expansion, including high-profile defections from Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

The Affordable Care Act expands Medicaid eligibility to everyone at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty line. The federal government will cover the entire cost of the expansion until 2017, when the federal share begins gradually ratcheting down to 90 percent.