Judge allows Alaska governor to move ahead with Medicaid expansion

Alaska’s governor won a legal victory Friday that, at least for now, will allow the state to begin next week to sign up more low-income residents for Medicaid — despite objections from state lawmakers.

The dispute in Alaska has emerged as the latest political and legal skirmish over the Affordable Care Act, lingering even after the Supreme Court two months ago upheld the constitutionality of a core aspect of the law that requires most Americans to have health insurance.

This most recent skirmish involves a decision that each state has faced in the past three years: whether to expand its Medicaid program, as originally intended by the 2010 law that has been reshaping the health-care system.

When Congress adopted the law, it envisioned that opening Medicaid to people with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level would be a major way to extend health coverage to people who were uninsured. But two years later, the Supreme Court ruled that each state was free to choose whether to broaden access to Medicaid.

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