Health law advocates in Utah are also proposing a referendum on the issue, and the outcome in Maine could influence other states that have put the decision on hold. Meanwhile, in Louisiana, critics of the expansion program point to signs the state budget is in trouble, and a commission in New Hampshire looking at the insurance marketplace there is considering whether the state should move more people with serious medical issues into Medicaid to make the health law’s marketplace plans more stable.

The Wall Street Journal:
In Maine, Medicaid Expansion Goes Before the Voters

As the Trump administration takes steps to weaken provisions of the Affordable Care Act, voters in Maine are being asked whether the state should embrace a central plank of the 2010 law. The November statewide ballot measure proposes the state accept enhanced federal funding available under the health law to extend Medicaid health benefits to low-income adults, over the strong opposition of the state’s Republican governor, Paul LePage. Mr. LePage argues that the expansion would deplete state coffers. Advocates elsewhere are also seeking to put the question to voters. (Levitz and
Hackman, 10/16)

The Associated Press:
Analysis: Booming Medicaid Growth A GOP Target In Louisiana

Louisiana’s Republican elected officials have targeted the Medicaid program as a behemoth that will suck up every available dollar if the state, which is struggling with continuing financial problems, doesn’t get it under control. By fulfilling one of his major campaign promises, Gov. John Bel Edwards has given them more ammunition for their grousing, by boosting the program’s costs dramatically with his Medicaid expansion. As in most budget debates, the numbers are complex — and can be bent to fit multiple narratives, depending on who’s doing the talking. (Deslatte, 10/15)

Concord (N.H.) Monitor:
N.H. Commission Looks To Iowa And Arkansas For Guidance On Medicaid

With some New Hampshire health care premiums projected to spike more than 50 percent, policymakers tasked with stabilizing the state’s individual insurance market are facing a steep climb. But weeks into the creation of a study commission of legislators and stakeholders, one idea is gaining broad support. If the Department of Health and Human Services can identify high-risk and high-cost patients and move them off the individual market and into more stable state-run insurance programs, policymakers say, those remaining on that exchange could see their costs stabilize. (DeWitt, 10/16)

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