"I am very concerned about the 160,000 people who had Medicaid expansion in my state. I have difficulty with that being included," said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican from West Virginia. […]
Sen. John Hoeven (R), who represents North Dakota, where an estimated 19,000 people gained access to Medicaid after Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple decided to broaden the program, said he was unsure about repealing the expansion.
"We've started to talk about it but we haven't gotten into it in depth," he said. "I'm going to reserve judgment until I see exactly what we're going to do."
"I respect the decision of our Legislature and our governor on Medicaid expansion," said Sen. Steve Daines (R) of Montana, which has a Democratic governor. "I'm one who respects their rights and voices."In less than a month's time, more than 5,000 people have signed up for the newly expanded program in Montana. So, yeah, voting to yank it way just weeks after it was granted, kind of a problem. It's a bigger problem for Republican incumbents running in Illinois, Ohio, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, because all of those states took the expansion. So Mark Kirk, Rob Portman, Kelly Ayotte, and Pat Toomey have some thinking to do over this one.
This isn't just McConnell's immediate headache—it's a larger problem for the GOP. You see newly-elected Gov. Matt Bevin in Kentucky already backing away from an early campaign pledge to do away with the expansion. Just as remarkable, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is considering reversing course and accepting the expansion. This has all the potential to be a big flashpoint in the brewing GOP civil war, just what they need in an election year.