Who Wants To Shrink Medcaid?

Jonathan Bernstein listens to what Republican candidates for governor in states that expanded Medicaid are saying about it:

Nada. Zip. Nothing. None of these Republicans is pledging to repeal the Medicaid expansion put in place by a Democratic governor. Indeed, most of them don’t mention Obamacare at all, and only one even mentioned health care. I’m sure that most — if they want to win a Republican nomination! — would support Obamacare repeal, if asked. But that’s different from making repeal an actual priority.

He thinks this supports the view that “where it’s in place, Medicaid expansion is here to stay.” Sargent believes the expansion could benefit Democrats in red states:

The Medicaid expansion, as an issue, is kind of taking on a life of its own, independent of Big Bad Obamacare. In Louisiana, Senator Mary Landrieu has aggressively criticized the rollout of the law, but has also attacked Republicans for refusing to implement the Medicaid expansion. In Georgia, Dem Senate candidate Michelle Nunn has called for fixes to the law while also saying the state should expand Medicaid, which 57 percent of Georgia voters support, according to a recent poll. Democrats are attacking GOP governors over it, too, particularly in the bid to oust Florida Governor Rick Scott.

Drum thinks the issue could resonate:

Pushing for Medicaid expansion in the holdout states could turn out to be a solid populist issue for Democrats this year. The argument is simple: It’s free medical care and it doesn’t cost the state anything. Who’s against that? We’ll find out later this how well that argument works.