Obamacare

ObamaCare Fans Mull Ballot Initiatives for Medicaid Expansions

Try to force it in states where governors are resistant

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Obamacare backers stymied by conservative legislatures in red states may have a new approach: letting the voters break logjams with state ballot initiatives in 2014.

Frustrated by conservative opposition to extending Medicaid even in states where Republican governors have embraced it, the president's allies are strategizing about asking voters to do what their elected leaders have not: accept billions of federal dollars to cover millions of poor people under Obamacare.

Putting anything as volatile as President Barack Obama's health law on the 2014 ballot is risky — more so if the rollout of the law is rocky next year, less so if people start seeing tangible benefits. The health law, after all, was a big reason the Republicans captured the House and made gains in the Senate in the last midterms, in 2010. And ballot initiatives could stoke emotions and affect turnout in unpredictable ways in the 2014 midterms, when the health law is still likely to be a raw political issue.