Map of the Day: Voters Choosing Medicaid Expansion
Health Care

Map of the Day: Voters Choosing Medicaid Expansion

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On Tuesday, voters in Missouri backed the expansion of Medicaid in their state, which will provide health care coverage for 217,000 low-income residents. Sarah Kliff of The New York Times says that six states — Idaho, Maine, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah and now Missouri — have relied on ballot initiatives to expand Medicaid, as allowed by the Affordable Care Act, providing coverage for about 850,000 people. The initiatives have often passed over the objections of Republican governors and/or legislatures.

Looking at the Medicaid expansion votes this summer in Oklahoma and Missouri, Vox’s Dylan Scott says the pandemic may have made the difference: "It is difficult to ignore that these ballot initiatives passed in right-leaning states in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, when millions of Americans have lost their jobs and, with them, their employer-sponsored health insurance. This is partly a coincidence — the signatures were collected to put the Medicaid expansion questions on the ballot long before Covid-19 ever arrived in the US — but the relatively narrow margins made me wonder if the pandemic and its economic and medical consequences proved decisive."