States Expand the ACA’s Reach

There may be gridlock on the federal level when it comes to the status of Obamacare, but states controlled by Democrats give the law more power.

Take California, for example. Some middleclass residents in the Golden State can now use subsidies to pay for insurance premiums. In addition, as Axios reports, the Medicaid ACA expansion in that state now includes many undocumented children and young adults.

Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, the state ACA exchange, tells Axios that “this isn’t just the ACA warmed over. This is actually taking steps beyond it to make it better.”

The much-discussed public option? Washington state has created one, and Colorado isn’t far behind. Some Maryland residents need only check a box on their state income tax returns to become eligible for Medicaid.

Republican states are also trying new things, Axios reports, most notably installing Medicaid work requirements.

Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation, tells Axios that “red states and blue states are moving in very different directions on health care, taking advantage of new flexibility on the one hand and combating efforts by the Trump administration on the other.”