Is Obamacare Finally "Winning"?

(This article originally appeared in the Stateside Dispatch, Progressive States Network's email roundup of the latest state policy news. Sign up to receive the Dispatch in your inbox here.)

A longtime staunch opponent of the Affordable Care Act decided to support expanding Medicaid in his state this week, adding to the list of conservatives who are having a change of heart on the issue, as advocates (as well as hospitals and other industry forces) continue to lobby hard for states to take full advantage of the federal funding provided in the ACA. At the same time, lawmakers from states including Mississippi continued their efforts to push for expansion as well. As full enactment of the law draws closer and closer, progressive lawmakers are growing bolder in their advocacy for full implementation of the ACA, and events this week signaled a clear shift in the political terrain in favor of supporters of health reform:

Florida Gov. Rick Scott's new position: "I cannot, in good conscience, deny Floridians the needed access to health care." [Miami Herald]

Ohio Gov. John Kasich "implored" conservative lawmakers to join him in supporting Medicaid expansion in his State of the State address. [Columbus Dispatch]

Pressure is now building even more on other conservative-led states, including Texas, to expand Medicaid. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

Texas State Rep. and PSN Board Member Garnet Coleman: "The people of Florida should be proud of their governor for making the right choice." [Texas Tribune]

Mississippi lawmakers are also trying to pressure conservative leadership to expand Medicaid. [Clarion-Ledger]

Advocates are urging Georgia's governor to reconsider his refusal to expand Medicaid. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: States like Florida and Ohio are deciding the Medicaid expansion is "simply too good to pass up." [AP]

A list of the 13 governors still insisting on denying families health security by refusing to support Medicaid expansion. [Mother Jones]

Ezra Klein on why events this week are more evidence that "Obamacare is winning." [Washington Post]


Read the full Dispatch from February 23, 2013 here.