Morning Joe, 4/2/13, 8:20 AM ET

Governors set pace for the expansion of Medicaid

Former White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod and Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vt., explain how the new health care law will impact each state individually. The Morning Joe panel also talks about the upcoming governor races.

Vermont governor: How Obamacare is helping my state


Obamacare’s Medicaid will soon allow individual states to take in hundreds of millions of federal dollars to help employers struggling with insurance costs, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin said.

“The biggest challenge for me as a small business person is the rising cost of health insurance,” he said Tuesday on Morning Joe.

Shumlin, a Democrat, said Vermont spends 20 cents of every dollar on healthcare. If costs grow at the same rate for the next 10 years, healthcare rates will double in the next decade.

“If anyone thinks that’s not a jobs killer, I don’t know what is,” Shumlin said.

The Affordable Care Act will extend health insurance coverage to millions of uninsured Americans by expanding Medicaid and spawning a new market for individual plans. But in a national poll released this month, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that just 37% of Americans now approve of Obamacare, while 40% oppose it.

Some GOP legislators resist Medicaid expansion and question the ultimate effect of the program. But by October, there will be availability of healthcare for people who were priced out of the market, said David Axelrod, former senior adviser to President Obama. In addition, individuals with preexisting conditions will have access to healthcare.

“I think it’s a mistake to run away from this program,” he said. “I think you have to embrace it because it’s going to make a big difference in the lives of a lot of people.”

Since its enactment three years ago, the Affordable Care Act has curbed the health insurance industry’s worst abuses, placed basic coverage within reach for a generation of young adults, and made birth control more accessible to reproductive-aged women.

Vermont governor: How Obamacare is helping my state