One year ago, in reaction to President Trump and the GOP’s efforts to repeal and sabotage the Affordable Care Act, Democrats rode the issue of health care to victories up and down the ballot, including capturing the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. A year later, President Trump and Republicans have continued to mount a relentless war on health care and not surprisingly the issue, and Medicaid expansion in particular, is dominating in elections across the country. 

HEADLINES

Politico: “Today’s Elections Could Alter Several Southern States’ Health Care Agendas.” [Politico, 11/5/19]  

  • Kentucky: “In Kentucky, unpopular incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin has threatened to throw hundreds of thousands of low-income people off coverage if his pioneering Medicaid overhaul doesn’t survive a legal challenge that’s winding its way through the courts. Meanwhile, Bevin’s Democratic opponent Andy Beshear, the state’s attorney general, has made Obamacare a prominent focus of his campaign and vowed to undo Bevin’s controversial Medicaid reforms.”
  • Mississippi: “Mississippi would inch closer to expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act if it elects Democrat Jim Hood, the state’s popular attorney general who has made the coverage program a signature issue in his competitive challenge against GOP Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves. The state, known for having some of the worst health outcomes in the nation, is one of 14 that has refused to adopt the Obamacare coverage program.”
  • Virginia: “Democrats are trying to win control of the state legislature in part by relying on a health care-heavy message, including that only they can be trusted to protect the state’s expansion of Medicaid that’s covered more than 300,000 people.” 

NBC News: Medicaid Expansion Core Campaign Issue Of Gubernatorial Election. “Meanwhile, health care costs continue to grow, creating a core campaign issue in Mississippi’s gubernatorial election that will be decided Tuesday. State Attorney General Jim Hood, a Democrat, supports expansion to address costs, while Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves opposes it.” [NBC News, 11/4/19

Roll Call: “Republicans In Kentucky, Mississippi And Louisiana Vow To Scale Back Or Block Expansion.” “Races next month for governor in three states could affect the medical coverage of hundreds of thousands of people and offer test cases of how voters might view health care issues — particularly Medicaid for lower-income people.In Mississippi, the Democratic candidate vows to expand Medicaid under the national health care law, while the Republican opposes that. Kentucky GOP Gov. Matt Bevin wants to scale back coverage that his Democratic opponent’s father, a former governor, expanded. And in Louisiana, incumbent Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards touts his expansion of Medicaid while his GOP rival would freeze enrollment. [Roll Call, 10/30/19

Vox: Health Care Is On The Ballot In State Elections. “The races for governor this November in Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Virginia haven’t attracted nearly as much attention as next spring’s presidential primaries, but they are hugely important to hundreds of thousands of voters without access to health care.” [Vox, 10/29/19

Washington Times: Medicaid Expansion Is “Back On The Ballot Across The South.” “The decision by states whether to extend their Medicaid coverage to low-income, able-bodied people under Obamacare has put the topic back on the ballot across the South. In looming gubernatorial contests, voters are debating whether Louisiana and Kentucky should stay the course and in Mississippi whether they should join the Medicaid expansion club.” [Washington Times, 10/2/19

Politico: Democrats In Kentucky, Louisiana, And Mississippi “Embracing” ACA And Medicaid Expansion As Elections Approach. “Although the states are Trump strongholds, Democrats are embracing the ACA — a strategy that helped them win the House last November and pick up several governorships.” [Politico, 10/8/19