Little Progress Expected on Most Medicaid Holdouts in 2016

Only a few states look likely to expand Medicaid under Obamacare next year, although the entitlement program is set to be a hot topic in state legislatures across the country.

Twenty states have not expanded Medicaid to people at or below 138 percent above the federal poverty level, with opposition to Obamacare and cost the primary reasons. Experts say high costs associated with the program could continue to play a leading role in deciding not to expand.

Next year, governors in three red states are expected to push for Medicaid expansion and must convince skeptical legislatures to do so. Those states are South Dakota, Wyoming and Lousiana, said Jesse Cross-Call, policy analyst for the left-leaning think tank Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Louisiana appears primed to take up Medicaid with a new Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards, taking office in a few weeks. Edwards ran on a platform of expanding the entitlement program.