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Nevada Republicans Back Their Governor On Medicaid Expansion

By Tara Culp-Ressler on December 13, 2012 at 10:45 am

"Nevada Republicans Back Their Governor On Medicaid Expansion"

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On Wednesday, Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV) became the first Republican governor to endorse Obamacare’s expansion of the Medicaid program, noting that expanding Medicaid is the right thing to do for the 78,000 low-income residents Nevada will be able to add to its rolls.

And now Sandoval’s fellow Republicans are coming out in support of the governor’s decision, backing his plan to extend health coverage to their state’s poorest residents:

State Senate Republican leaders lined up Wednesday to back Gov. Brian Sandoval’s decision to expand Medicaid eligibility for Nevada’s poorest residents. [...]

Ensuring that poor Nevadans have access to primary health care through Medicaid is very simply the right thing to do, both for our citizens and our economy,” said Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Henderson.

Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, said expanding Medicaid to include poor childless adults — a population segment historically excluded from Nevada’s Medicaid eligibility — will help improve the state’s rates for chronic illnesses.

However, the GOP voices of support for Medicaid expansion still remain in the minority. Other conservatives in Nevada are skeptical about Sandoval’s decision to implement a crucial part of the Affordable Care Act, warning that it may end up being too costly for the state — despite the fact that expanding Medicaid will actually save Nevada an estimated $17 million, thanks to the additional federal government funding designated for states that choose to expand their programs.

And across the country, Republican governors are digging in their heels against health care reform at the expense of their states’ poorest residents. GOP governors in some of the states with the highest rates of uninsurance, like Texas and Florida, have already explicitly rejected Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, denying health coverage to thousands of low-income Americans who need it.

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