Noteworthy News

Medicaid Expansion: Will They or Won’t They?

With President Obama re-elected and Congress unlikely to repeal the Affordable Care Act, many of the nation’s governors face a major decision:  will they expand their Medicaid programs as the law originally intended?

The original health care reform law made that expansion mandatory, but earlier this year, the Supreme Court left the expansion decision to individual states.  While some governors have already declared their intention to expand their Medicaid programs and others have announced that they will not, many have not yet announced their decision.  Some appeared to be hoping that a Romney victory and a repeal of the reform law would relieve them of the need to make any decision at all.

Why would states choose to expand their Medicaid programs, considering that it will end up costing them more money?  On the other hand, why would they choose to leave billions of federal dollars on the table?

Because they serve so many low-income, currently uninsured patients who might benefit from an easing of Medicaid eligibility criteria, urban safety-net hospitals have a major stake in these decisions.

Read more about the decisions now facing many governors in this CQ HealthBeat articledollars presented by the Commonwealth Fund.

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