Going into 2014, the United States is split down the middle: 25 states (plus Washington, D.C.) have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and 25 states have not.
Those 25 non-expanding states have left five million people below the poverty line uncovered under the health care reform law, but the White House isn't giving up the fight. Administration officials is actively stumping for expansion, holding conference calls with local officials and reporters and attending advocacy events in 11 of the non-expanding states since the beginning of November.
They think they've got quite a pitch. The federal government would cover 100 percent of the costs through 2016 and never less than 90 percent after that. That deal has already won over some GOP governors, and Obamacare supporters hope it will convince more. That's the leverage the administration and others plan to wield against skeptical state officials.
"I'm not sure there's a very good case for state legislators or governors to explain to people why they oppose Medicaid expansion," White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in response to a question from TPM during a Monday conference call. "It's unfortunate when the stakes are this high, when we're talking about giving people access to quality, affordable health insurance that there are still some politicians who would allow politics to get in the way. That is a tough case to make publicly."
Community organizations and lobbying groups for the medical industry have pledged to push state legislatures when they reconvene in the next year. For their biggest prize -- Texas -- they'll have to wait until lawmakers come back in 2015.
But the battle for many of the other states will begin in the new year. Here's a look at five states among the most likely to reverse course and expand Medicaid in the near future.
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