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August 28, 2014 4:20 PM Keystone to Medicaid Expansion Momentum? Probably Not.

By Ed Kilgore

So one of the larger holdout states for Medicaid expansion, Pennsylvania, has reached agreement with HHS to expand eligibility for 300,000 low-income citizens (potentially double that number eventually), in exchange for cost-sharing and work-search requirements.

This has been in the works for a good while. I don’t know if Gov. Tom Corbett thought the action might lift his moribund re-election campaign, but it’s probably too late for that. I also don’t know if I would share the belief that this could reignite momentum for the expansion among the 23 remaining refusenik states, beyond the three that are already in negotiation with the feds. Yes, it’s becoming the CW that Republicans have shifted their attention away from a monomanical focus on Obamacare lately because it’s no longer a big political winner. But that doesn’t mean they won’t savagely fight efforts—especially from within their own party—to promote Obamacare implementation and expand a Medicaid program many of them would like to gut. We may soon discover when the next batch of bad-sounding news about Obamacare comes out—whether it’s really bad or not—Republicans were just self-distracted from the Cause, which they will re-embrace like an old love.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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