Medicaid expansion could see boost from elections

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Three gubernatorial races could result in new Medicaid coverage for nearly 2 million people, a new study finds.

Democratic gubernatorial candidates in Missouri, North Carolina and Utah have all said they support expanding the eligibility for Medicaid under ObamaCare.

{mosads}That would result in 1.7 million people who are newly eligible people for Medicaid, according to a new analysis published Wednesday by consulting firm Avalere.

Thirty-one other states, mostly led by Democratic governors, have already expanded Medicaid since the healthcare law was passed in 2010.

Of the three states, North Carolina’s gubernatorial race stands to have the biggest impact on Medicaid expansion.

Since 2013, North Carolina has been led by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who has been vocally opposed to the expansion.

But Democratic challenger Roy Cooper is now seen as having an edge, according to the University of Virginia Center for Politics. Cooper, the state attorney general, has said accepting the Medicaid expansion will be “one of the first things I will tackle as governor.”

Missouri’s race is also leaning Democratic, according to the University of Virginia’s ratings.

Democrat Chris Koster has a slim lead in polls over GOP rival Eric Greitens. Koster has also said he would support expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare, though he could face the same wall of GOP resistance as current Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

The winner of Utah’s race will also almost certainly be a candidate who supports some kind of Medicaid expansion — but this time, a Republican.  

Incumbent Gov. Gary Herbert (R) is considered “safe” by the University of Virginia.

Herbert has supported a smaller-scale plan to expand Medicaid, which also passed the state legislature this year.

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