On the heels of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s (R) announcement on Monday that she will expand Medicaid under Obamacare, North Dakota’s governor represents fourth Republican leader to support the optional expansion of the program. The Huffington Post reports that Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) has submitted a bill to his state legislature asking to broaden the state’s eligibility level to allow additional low-income people to qualify for Medicaid coverage.
Dalrymple told reporters that he supports this provision of the health reform law because the federal government will cover the full cost of state’s Medicaid expansion for the first several years. “In the end, it comes down to are you going to allow your people to have additional Medicaid money that comes at no cost to us, or aren’t you?” he said. “We’re thinking, yes, we should.”
Despite the financial benefits for states that choose to expand Medicaid, Dalrymple’s fellow GOP governors haven’t been so eager to cooperate with Obamacare — even at the expense of their states’ low-income residents. Aside from Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada, no other Republican-controlled states have moved toward Medicaid expansion.