Other GOP-led states in Medicaid expansion dilemma

Monday - 8/19/2013, 6:00pm EDT

AP Political Writer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The Virginia panel of policymakers with its hand on the throttle -- and foot on the brake -- of Medicaid expansion learned that theirs isn't the only Republican-led state still wrestling with the issue.

Legislatures in Michigan and Ohio, where Republican governors advocate expansion, are still pondering how or whether to expand the federal-state program for low-income families, the elderly, blind and disabled.

In Virginia, expansion is legislatively authorized but will proceed only if the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission established in the budget enacted in February finds that several efficiency and cost-cutting benchmarks for the pricey program have been achieved.

Health finance expert Vern Smith, who got his start in Medicaid in 1967 under GOP Gov. George Romney in Michigan, noted that even Republican President Ronald Reagan expanded Medicaid.

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