What Are the Effects of Not Expanding Medicaid?

Why Medicaid expansion represents an opportunity to improve the welfare of the poorest Americans, who are still recovering from the Great Recession.

An essential provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is expanding Medicaid coverage to low-income Americans (those with incomes less than 138% of the federal poverty level). However, a Supreme Court decision in 2012 made Medicaid expansion optional for states and currently 38 states plus the District of Columbia have agreed to do so. From 2014 to 2016, the federal government will cover 100% of expansion cost. Afterward, federal support will decline each year, reaching and remaining at 90% by 2020.

Medicaid expansion has of course become a highly politicized issue, partly because it represents one of the few opportunities Republicans have to express disagreement with the ACA through policy, instead of voting on bills with no chance of leaving Congress.

Read more at the Brookings Institute: http://brook.gs/1B12Euw

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