By Tami Luhby
Many residents in three deep-red states rejoiced last fall when voters approved Medicaid expansion, circumventing the objections of their elected representatives.
But the victories in Utah, Idaho and Nebraska — which would have extended coverage to tens of thousands of residents in each state under the Obamacare provision — have proven short-lived.
This week, Idaho’s GOP lawmakers and governor joined their peers in Utah and Nebraska in slapping work requirements and other restrictions on access to Medicaid. Idaho legislators had considered bills with less stringent measures, but ultimately rejected those.
“We must encourage self-sufficiency among those receiving public assistance,” Idaho Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, wrote to the president of the state Senate upon approving the bill.
The moves demonstrate the enduring resistance among Republicans to adopting programs tied to the Affordable Care Act, even when voters themselves explicitly ask for them.