Medicaid Expansion Doubtful in 2013

A disappointing SmartBrief blurb states that “State governments that have said they will not expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act are not likely to change their minds this year, according to a recent statement from Caroline Pearson at Avalere Health.” Unfortunately, the Washington Post article is not showing much optimism either:
“With the health insurance exchanges, the Obama administration always had the ability to jump in and build a marketplace for any state that decided not to. With Medicaid, there’s no back-up plan. A state opts out, and that’s pretty much it. This all mostly means that the health law’s insurance expansion may start off significantly smaller than initially envisioned.” Of course, the Washington Post continues, “The decisions that states make this year aren’t binding; a state can decide to participate in the Medicaid expansion at anytime. When Medicaid first launched, it took over two decades to convince all 50 states to participate. Eventually, federal dollars lured reluctant states like Arizona into the fold. We’re about to see whether Obamacare dollars can do the same.”

A KaiserHealthNews article primarily focused on the battle in Florida and states that “Fourteen states, many in the Republican-controlled South, have already rejected the Medicaid expansion, while 20 have agreed to comply with the law, according to consulting firm Avalere Health” which provided an enlightening map.

“The industry notes it gave up billions in future Medicare reimbursements during negotiations over the health law three years ago with the expectation it would recoup those dollars in part through Medicaid’s expansion…Also backing the expansion are insurers and consumer advocates, as well as several leading business groups, including the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Florida…But the National Federation of Independent Business, a small business group which filed one of the lawsuits seeking to overturn the law, opposes expansion. And the Florida Medical Association has remained neutral because it says its members are split. The American Medical Association was a key supporter of the health law.”

What would you like to see happen?  Should Medicaid be expanded?  Why or why not?  Perhaps you need more information.  What questions do you still have that we can work at answering for you?  Please share your thoughts below, or on our Facebook page.  We look forward to continuing the conversation with you!

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