Effort To Block Medicaid Expansion May Be Insufficient

September 10, 2013

It looks like a bid to block the Medicaid expansion at the ballot may fall short. The state currently provides for most people below the poverty level of about $19,500 a year, for a family of three. The plan confirmed by state lawmakers would tax hospitals to expand eligibility to 138-percent of the poverty level. Opponents have until the end of the day Wednesday to turn in over 86,000 valid signatures to put the law on hold until voters can decide its fate in 2014.  Referendum organizer Frank Antenori says they have more than 70,000 signatures.

“It’s going to be close,” Antenori said. “It’s probably going to be tough to ward off a decent challenge.”

Typically, a third or more of the signatures gathered are declared invalid for one reason or another, so a big cushion is generally needed to insure the measure reaches voters. Antenori says one thing that hindered the gathering of signatures was a lack of donations, but says a $350,000 campaign by those supporting Medicaid expansion may have been the biggest blow to the drive.

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