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Alaska to expand Medicaid

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With growing evidence that the public supports state expansion of Medicaid services, another state has ended its boycott of the expansion offer under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker said his state will become the 30th to accept the increased federal support for state health insurance programs for low-income Americans. As reported by the Washington, D.C. news source The Hill, Walker was elected governor last year, in part because of his outspoken support for Medicaid expansion.

The Hill said that, despite strong opposition from the GOP-dominated Alaskan legislature, Walker said he will do an end-around and welcome the support through his statutory authority. (Walker self-identifies as an Independent.)

Read: Medicaid expansion states leading decline in uninsured rate

According to The Hill, Walker’s office estimates that 20,000 Alaskans will enroll for coverage in the first year, and that the program will save the state $100 million over six years.

The Hill said that, of the 30 states that have now accepted the extra support, 10 have Republican governors.