Medicaid Forecast: How would the states that led the lawsuit against health reform benefit from Medicaid expansion?

| July 6, 2012

When the Supreme Court ruled at the end of June that states can opt out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Medicaid expansion without risk of losing federal support for current Medicaid, the likelihood rose that some may do so.

Once implemented in 2014, Medicaid will cover an additional 16 million people earning less than 133% of the federal poverty level (about $15,000 per year), including hundreds of thousands of people with HIV.

The chance that a state might opt out of the Medicaid expansion is even greater in the 26 states that joined the lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act. A new map from ProPublica and Kaiser Family Foundation shows that up to 8.5 million people in those 26 states might lose out if the states forgo the Medicaid expansion.

Estimates of the numbers of people who could be newly eligible for Medicaid in these 26 states range from 1.8 million in Texas to 30,000 in South Dakota. Overall, the states that sued account for nearly half of the people in the U.S. who could gain new Medicaid coverage.

The federal government will pay the full cost of the Medicaid expansion beginning in 2014, making it a fantastic financial deal for states. States will pay just 5% after the first few years and then 10% after 2020.

Advocates in every state will need to be vigilant to make sure their state takes full advantage of the new Medicaid funding, but even more so in the 26 states that sued to stop the ACA from being implemented.

Click here to see the interactive state-by-state map showing how the health reform could expand Medicaid.


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