The red states are the backbone of the Republican Party, but growing evidence suggests that opposition to ObamaCare expansion is falling apart in the GOP stronghold.
The Hill reported:
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) has expressed openness to Medicaid expansion if he is elected governor of Louisiana on Saturday, and his Democratic opponent, John Bel Edwards, has been an enthusiastic supporter of expansion as well.
More recently, there was surprising news out of Alabama, as a commission appointed by Republican governor Robert Bentley recommended expansion. Bentley said earlier this month that he is “looking” at the possibility of broadening Medicaid.
“What is going to happen is that support for Medicaid expansion will continue to build,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell told Atlanta Magazine in an article published Monday. “You hear the Alabama governor. You’ve heard conversations in Louisiana.”
Supporters of Medicaid expansion hope that if they can get a foothold in the South, other states will follow.
Republicans run on repealing the ACA, when behind closed doors, they are closely examining ways to expand Medicaid. There are two dynamics driving the change. The clock is ticking towards the 2016 deadline for the federal government to foot the entire bill for Medicaid expansion, and the program has not caused the apocalypse that Republicans predicted.
Even the math-challenged Deep South Republicans understand that they are giving up hundreds of millions of federal dollars for an ideological position on healthcare reform has lost. Signs are growing within all levels of the Republican Party that there are elements of the ACA that have popular support. The idea that the GOP will ever throw away the entire Affordable Care Act is more election year posturing than reality.
Republicans are trying to save face by doing it “their way,” but President Obama has won. Time and persistence are wearing down the last bastion of ACA opposition.