Via Think Progress:
Alaska will become the 30th state to accept Obamacare’s optional Medicaid expansion, after Gov. Bill Walker (I) announced on Thursday that he will use his executive power to bypass the GOP-controlled legislature and implement the policy on his own.
Walker — a former Republican who has since become an Independent — has been advocating for Medicaid expansion for over a year. Implementing this particular Obamacare provision, which was ruled optional by the Supreme Court in 2012, would extend health coverage to an estimated 40,000 low-income residents in his state.
Decent chance there will be a court fight on the expansion, but establishing facts on the ground that this is what a civilized state does (especially when someone else is paying either the entire bill or the vast majority of it), and more importantly getting the hospital groups on board and used to the revenue will start entrenching the program.
And here is the Republican response to Medicaid expansion in Alaska:
“I think in this time, in these lean years, it’s time for communities to pull together, it’s time for churches to step up, it’s time to help give a hand to each other as individuals. We can be kind as people. It’s not government’s place to be kind,” State Rep. Shelley Hughes (R) said in reference to uninsured Alaskans when the House voted down Medicaid expansion in March.
Counting on churches, private charity, bake sales and magical unicorns flying out of a yeti’s ass has been the working poor health insurance plan for years. That has not worked, but let’s try it again and clap louder. Asshole.