3 Red States Voted to Expand Medicaid in the Midterm Elections. Here’s Why

November 8, 2018, 12:56 AM UTC

In three states considered to be Republican territory, voters cast their ballots for something often thought of as decidedly Democrat: Medicaid expansion.

Medicaid expansion initiatives were approved by voters in Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah. In total, those changes will likely cover over 300,000 low-income adults in those red states. Medicaid coverage would provide healthcare to roughly 62,000 adults in Idaho, 90,000 adults in Nebraska, and 150,000 adults in Utah, according to The Daily Beast.

And because Democrats were voted in to take over the governor’s mansions in Kansas, Maine, and Wisconsin, there is a good chance that Affordable Care Act (also known as the ACA, or Obamacare) will also be extended to residents in those states which would include expanded Medicaid coverage.

Of course, for many, affordable, accessible healthcare isn’t a partisan issue. Most people agree healthcare coverage, whether through private insurance or government programs like Medicaid, should be a right, not the privilege of only those who can afford it. Yet healthcare issues—including the potential rollback of the ACA and that impact on people with preexisting conditions, as well as access to legal abortion—dominated debates and seemed to be one key reason why 113 million voters caused the 2018 midterms to set a new record for midterm voter turnout.