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Advocacy Resources Show Benefits of Medicaid Expansion

August 23, 2012

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states, advocates, and federal policymakers have been working to understand its implications on the expansion of Medicaid.

The ruling eliminated the federal government’s ability to penalize states that choose not to expand their Medicaid programs to meet the ACA’s requirements. If states opt not to expand their Medicaid programs, many low-income individuals and families — including many direct-care workers (pdf) — living in those states will remain uninsured.

As part of the regional ACA Implementation Forums, and elsewhere, policymakers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have given guidance (pdf) to states, and offered flexibility regarding Medicaid expansion.

At one forum, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services Director Cindy Mann noted there is no deadline for states to decide about the Medicaid expansion. However, the 100 percent federal matching funds available for newly eligible individuals in 2014, 2015, and 2016 is an incentive to expand sooner than later. (In 2017, the FMAP will begin to phase down gradually until it reaches 90 percent in 2020, where it will remain.)

As advocates work to encourage each state to adopt the Medicaid expansion, keys for successful advocacy include focusing on Medicaid’s benefits and analyses of the budgetary impact for states.

Medicaid Resources

The following are helpful resources on Medicaid:

General

Budgetary Impact

Benefits of Medicaid

– by Gail MacInnes, PHI National Policy Analyst

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