Utah, Idaho, Nebraska voters approve Medicaid expansion

Voters in Utah, Idaho and Nebraska said "yes" to expanding Medicaid on Nov. 6, NPR reported.

Approval of the measures means about 300,000 low-income people could potentially gain healthcare coverage, the report stated, citing estimates from government agencies and advocacy groups in the three states.

Jonathan Schleifer, executive director of The Fairness Project — which is funded by Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West and played a key role in getting the Medicaid expansion initiatives in the midterms — said voters "sent the clearest message yet that Americans across the political spectrum support increasing access to healthcare."

CNBC reported this support came despite objections from many officials who had not wanted to adopt Medicaid expansion for budget reasons.

Under the ACA, Medicaid expansion covers childless adults who earn below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. So far, more than 30 other states, plus Washington, D.C., have expanded Medicaid.

Utah will increase the state's sales tax by 0.15 percentage points, to 4.85 percent, to fund the state's portion of Medicaid expansion, according to NPR

A study commissioned by the Nebraska Hospital Association and cited by NPR found the state is projected to receive $1.36 billion in federal health funding over three years, and Nebraska will pay about $148 million during that period.

Access the full NPR report here.

 

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