What We're Reading: Maine's Medicaid Expansion; ACA Navigators; Advertising ACA to Latinos

Maine’s Medicaid Expansion Referendum Vote

The Republican governor of Maine, Paul LePage, has vetoed expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on 5 separate occasions, so voters are taking the issue into their own hands. According to The New York Times, the state will be the first in the nation to vote on Medicaid expansion by referendum. However, the issue will be on the ballot during an off year—there are no races to bring people to the polls. An additional 80,000 residents would become eligible for Medicaid if the program was expanded.

Money for ACA Navigators

Steep cuts by the federal government to the navigator program are not equal across the country. The navigator program, which helps sign people up for ACA coverage, in South Carolina was cut by two-thirds, while North Carolina’s funding was cut by just 10%, reported Kaiser Health News. As a result, two-thirds of the counties in South Carolina will have no navigators based on the population and level of enrollment in 2017. In North Carolina, every county will have a navigator available.

California Spends Money to Sign Up Latinos on ACA Plans

A report from NPR took a look at California’s advertising strategy to get Latinos to sign up for ACA health coverage. In total, the state is spending $111 million on advertising for Covered California, and 30% of that money is focused on Latinos. The problem is that it isn’t clear the strategy will pay off. The state is struggling against messaging from the Trump administration that the ACA is going away, making it harder to sign up people who have so far been uninsured.