The Oklahoma State Capitol. Photo: Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Oklahoma voters on Tuesday narrowly passed a ballot measure to expand Medicaid, making it the first state to do so during the coronavirus pandemic, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Nearly 200,000 low-income adults could qualify for health insurance under the expansion, and that number could rise because of the recent surge in unemployment.

The big picture: Oklahoma had been among 14 Republican-led states to refrain from expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

  • On Tuesday, it became the fifth state to circumvent its legislature and expand the program through a ballot initiative.
  • Oklahoma has the second-highest uninsured rate in the nation at 14.2%, according to CNN.

Worth noting: The measure could thwart the administration's plan to make Oklahoma the first state to cap Medicaid spending with a federal block grant program, a move Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) supports.

What's next: The measure mandates the state to expand Medicaid by July 1, 2021.

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Updated Oct 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump signs stopgap bill to prevent government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and President Trump arrives at the U.S. Capitol in March. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump signed a bill to extend current levels of government funding after funding expired briefly, White House spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed early Thursday.

Why it matters: The move averts a government shutdown before the Nov. 3 election. The Senate on Wednesday passed the legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.