Key Republicans on both the Senate and House Public Health committees struck strident tones against full expansion at committee meetings earlier this week. Partial expansion continued to be a popular notion for a possible compromise, and Sen. Jonathan Dismang floated a new idea on that front. But the Republicans open to some form of expansion seem to be putting all their eggs in the partial expansion basket. As Dismang put it, “obviously if the federal government digs its heels in and says there’s nothing available but full expansion I think that changes things. I think there’s very little room for full expansion amongst the members. If we work through some of these details and get to some compromise, I don’t think partial expansion is out of the question.” The trouble is, the feds have said it’s all or nothing and given no indication that they’re willing to budge. As House Speaker Davy Carter told reporters on Wednesday, “I’m less optimistic that would be an option …they’ve said they weren’t interested in anything but all or nothing…that makes it extremely difficult.”
All this leaves the expand-o-meter feeling a little sickly, as the odds dip below even.