Will States Take Full Advantage of Health Reform?

November 7, 2012 at 5:07 pm

With the election decided, it’s clear that health reform — the Affordable Care Act — is here to stay.  One of its key provisions enables states to expand Medicaid to cover low-income adults with incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty line, with the federal government paying nearly all of the cost.  The question now is whether some states will squander this opportunity to cover millions of uninsured Americans.

Coverage for more than 11 million poor, uninsured adults is at risk if states don’t expand Medicaid, according to the Urban Institute.


The Congressional Budget Office estimates that if all states adopt the expansion, they will spend only 2.8 percent more on Medicaid from 2014 to 2022 than they would have spent without health reform.  And that estimate doesn’t account for the ways in which expanding Medicaid will save states money, such as by cutting the cost of treating uninsured residents in emergency rooms and health clinics.

While governors in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and several other states have said they’ll reject the Medicaid expansion, most states are either moving forward or their governors remain undecided, as this map shows.  In many of the latter states, governors had said that they wanted to wait until after the election to decide.

Now that we know the expansion will proceed, undecided governors should move ahead and governors who have opposed it should reconsider.

Print Friendly

More About Judy Solomon

Judy Solomon

Solomon is Vice President for Health Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where she focuses on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and issues related to the implementation of health reform, particularly policies to make coverage available and affordable for low-income people.

Full bio | Blog Archive | Research archive at CBPP.org

Your Comment

Comment Policy:

Thank you for joining the conversation about important policy issues. Comments are limited to 1,500 characters and are subject to approval and moderation. We reserve the right to remove comments that:

  • are injurious, defamatory, profane, off-topic or inappropriate;
  • contain personal attacks or racist, sexist, homophobic, or other slurs;
  • solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites or to sell products or services;
  • may infringe the copyright or intellectual property rights of others or other applicable laws or regulations; or
  • are otherwise inconsistent with the goals of this blog.

Posted comments do not necessarily represent the views of the CBPP and do not constitute official endorsement by CBPP. Please note that comments will be approved during the Center's business hours. If you have questions, please contact communications@cbpp.org.




8 − seven =

 characters available