Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), in charge of messaging on health care for Senate Democrats, explains what's behind Democrats' embrace of Obamacare, and specifically Medicaid expansion, on the campaign trail. He also reveals how Democrats are going to be putting more focus on the issue in coming months.
"We're going to have, for the first time in a little while, Democrats in vulnerable states and safe states all speaking with one voice in part because of the political momentum growing behind Medicaid expansion," Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), the Senate Democrats' point person on health care messaging, told POLITICO in an interview.Those Democrats include Mark Begich (D-AK), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Kay Hagan (D-NC). It would be worth these Democrats' time and effort to point out that a quarter of a million of those people in the coverage gap are also veterans. It is a key issue in red states, because some of the highest rates of uninsured people and the most in need are in the red states. It's also very popular policy in red states.
Murphy and other Senate Democrats are asking 18 Republican governors to agree to expand the program in a letter to be released Wednesday.
"There is a fundamental inequity playing out in your state and others that have chosen to not expand this basic health care coverage," the 20 Democrats write in the letter. "A political difference should not result in almost 6 million Americans falling into a coverage gap because their income is too high for Medicaid coverage, but below the level for a premium tax credit for coverage through a Marketplace plan."