Originally uploaded at SSRN.


This Article examines the current state of play following the Supreme Court's decision in NFIB v. Sebelius to allow states the option of expanding their Medicaid programs in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Holding that mandatory expansion was unconstitutionally coercive, the Court created the Red State Option. Despite the enormously generous federal financial support for Medicaid expansion, close to half of the states have declined. At the same time, at least eight Republican-led states have crossed Tea Party lines to accept federal funding for expansion. Drawing lessons from these states, including Arkansas, Arizona, Michigan, and Florida, the Article articulates key elements of a Red State Narrative that would allow other reluctant states to come around to expansion without losing political face.