New faces in a pair of state capitals could alter the future of Medicaid expansion.
In New Hampshire, expansion now looks virtually assured. Democrat Maggie Hassan, a vocal proponent of the Affordable Care Act’s optional Medicaid expansion, will take the keys from Gov. John Lynch, a more moderate Democrat.
And voters sent Hassan reinforcements, giving her more room than Lynch had to advance the health law. Democrats reclaimed control of the state House and took six seats from Republicans in the state Senate, leaving the GOP with a slim 13-11 majority.
Lynch wouldn’t commit to Medicaid expansion and faced a hostile Legislature. In contrast, Hassan pledged her support for expansion during her campaign.
“Gov.-elect Hassan believes New Hampshire should accept the more than $1 billion in available federal funding to help working families afford health insurance and will work to make sure the state is protected financially into the future,” Hassan spokesman Marc Goldberg said in an email Thursday, referring to the federal funds for Medicaid expansion.
In North Carolina, though, Gov. Bev Perdue — another Democrat who wouldn’t take a firm position on Medicaid expansion — was also ousted. Republican Pat McCrory will take over in January. And he’s not saying what he’ll decide on the expansion.
A spokesman said late Thursday that McCrory wants to “fully understand the long-term implications of Medicaid expansion” before making a call. In the meantime, he “will be reaching out and consulting advisers, experts and other governors about the best way forward.”