When the Supreme Court overturned the portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that required states to expand Medicaid or risk losing federal dollars, it paved the way for states to choose whether they wanted to expand the program or not. At the time, many Republican state governors expressed their opposition to the expansion, while Democratic governors generally supported it.
Now, in the wake of last year’s presidential election, more state governors have now begun voicing their acceptance of the proposed expansion of Medicaid services. So far, six Republican state governors have indicated that they are no longer opposed to expanding Medicaid in their states. Though states have until January 1, 2014 to make their final decision, states will have to develop their budgets before that deadline, and it appears now as if a majority of states will eventually expand Medicaid under the terms of the healthcare law.
The law directs that anyone who earns an income of up to 133% of the poverty line will be eligible to receive Medicaid health care coverage. That expansion is expected to bring at least 16 million additional people under the Medicaid umbrella, people who had previously gone without any kind of health care coverage because they were too poor to afford private insurance and also did not qualify for Medicaid.
Each state sets its own requirements for who qualifies for Medicaid, but under the terms of the healthcare law, qualification requirements would be nearly identical in any state that adopts the expansion.
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