Obamacare's Murky Future in Kentucky

Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg View columnist. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.
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1. The next governor of Kentucky will be the Republican Matt Bevin. What will happen to Obamacare in the state? I’ve been saying that Medicaid expansion is a one-way street: Once states get in, they aren't going to drop out. But this will be the biggest test; Kentucky’s Democratic governor accepted expansion and championed reform, and Bevin has strongly opposed it. Karyn Bruggeman's article last month about the ramifications of a Bevin victory is highly relevant now.

2. Eitan Hersh at FiveThirtyEight.com argues that Republicans aren't the only ones who depress voting when it suits them. Democrats do it, too, scheduling some elections in off years and setting unusual election dates, I’m for making voting easy by consolidating election days, among other things.

3. John Sides discusses new evidence that fewer and fewer swing voters remain. At the Monkey Cage.

4. Don’t miss Julia Azari at Vox on shallow polarization. I hope to write about this soon and her item is a good step forward.

5. Stan Collender says that nothing has really changed in the House and that Speaker Paul Ryan won’t fix the problems. Probably correct, though Ryan has gotten the caucus past the debt limit, and we probably aren’t going to have a shutdown showdown over the budget before 2017 (one over policy riders remains possible). And perhaps the 2016 elections will change things; maybe Ryan can use the remaining time in this Congress to improve the situation. On the other hand, Collender is correct: Nothing structural has changed, some things are worse, and Ryan may prove less able than John Boehner was.

6. And Jonathan Chait wonders (with quite a bit of evidence) whether Ben Carson’s presidential campaign is basically just a way to make money. Plausible!

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Jonathan Bernstein at jbernstein62@bloomberg.net

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Max Berley at mberley@bloomberg.net