The Obama administration's point woman on Obamacare isn't letting a little thing like Election Day distract her from urging states to expand Medicaid.
In fact, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell cited Tuesday's voting as she invited current governors and those about to be elected to meet with her soon to talk about how their states can make many more poor residents eligible for Medicaid.
"Expanding Medicaid is one of my top priorities as secretary," Burwell said in prepared remarks at the National Association of Medicaid Directors' fall conference in Washington, D.C. "And I hope it will become a top priority for those of you who haven't yet expanded."
"So my message to governors is that 'if you're interested in expanding, call me,' " she said.
"And to those governors who are about to get elected or re-elected today, my message is that 'I'm happy to meet with you before your inauguration.' We welcome conversations as we work together to move forward."
Burwell touted the fact that since last fall, an added 8.7 million poor people have been added to Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program, "many for the very first time."
"And 7.5 million people live in states that have expanded Medicaid," she said. "If all states were to expand, millions of our fellow Americans would get covered."
Burwell's pitch reflects expectations that the outcome of gubernatorial races Tuesday could lead to an increase in the number of states that have expanded Medicaid beyond the current 27 states and the District of Columbia. Of the 23 states that haven't yet expanded Medicaid, 15 are holding elections for governor Tuesday.