Another GOP governor, this time in a very red state, decides to expand Medicaid

Seal_of_UtahMedicaid expansion, one of the most popular parts of the Affordable Care Act, is being adopted by what many consider the most Republican state in the country.

What state? Utah.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, GOP Governor Gary Herbert has made up his mind to go ahead with an expansion. His decision will enable 110,000 Utahns to get public health insurance coverage.

“Doing nothing … I’ve taken off the table. Doing nothing is not an option,” the Republican governor said at his monthly news conference, broadcast live on KUED Channel 7.

Now that the most Republican state in the country will be expanding Medicaid, in one form or another, isn’t it past time to stop claiming that expanding Medicaid in Maine is a liberal plot to make people dependent, kind of like heroin addiction?

Utah joins a number of states with Republican governors taking this step, many of which cited both health and economic benefits.

In Maine, the state Chamber of Commerce has gotten involved in negotiating a compromise. The Maine Medical Association and Maine Hospital Association support an expansion. With moderate Republicans working and voting with majority Democrats, the Pine Tree State could be the next to expand Medicaid.

Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives. Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Her views do not reflect those of her employer or any group to which she belongs.