Politics color governors' decisions on Medicaid

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By AP

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Updated: Sat, 14 Dec 2013 09:16:23 EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Partisan politics are coloring governors' decisions on whether to expand Medicaid in their states.

The question of whether more low-income people receive Medicaid coverage may have less to do with their need than with how their states vote in governors' races.

Medicaid is the government health insurance program for the poor. Every Democratic governor has called for accepting larger-than-usual federal subsidies to expand coverage.

But the nation's 30 Republican governors are split. Eight agreed to expand Medicaid — and most of them are from states President Barack Obama won.

At least 20 GOP governors have declined the offer. In doing so, at least one rejected advice from the commission he assigned to study the question.

Critics say some governors fear a tea party challenger in next year's Republican primaries.

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