Nearly Half Of States Opt Not To Expand Medicaid

With most state legislative sessions coming to a close, 23 states and the District of Columbia have agreed to expand the program, as laid out under the health law. Many of the others will leave billions of federal dollars on the table, while a handful are still undecided.

CQ HealthBeat: On Medicaid: Expansion Decisions Nearing Conclusion
On the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling that says states would not lose their entire Medicaid funding if they decided not to expand the program, the nation is closely divided. With the fiscal year beginning in most states on July 1, many have decided whether or not to expand eligibility for adults starting on Jan. 1, 2014, as allowed by the health care law. So far, 23 states and the District of Columbia have announced they will expand eligibility. Another 22 have either said they will not expand or appear unlikely to expand on Jan. 1, while a handful remain unsettled (Adams, 6/28).

CNN Money: States Forgo Billions By Opting Out Of Medicaid Expansion
Nearly half the nation's states are opting not to expand Medicaid to all of their low-income residents, leaving billions of federal dollars on the table and millions of poor Americans uninsured. At least 21 states are opting out of Medicaid expansion for next year. In another six states, legislators are still weighing their options, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is tracking the states' plans (Luhby, 7/1).

Columbus Dispatch: Kasich Signs Budget, But Veto Keeps Alive Medicaid Expansion
Gov. John Kasich last night vetoed language attempting to block him from moving forward with Medicaid expansion, but did not touch any of the anti-abortion language before signing the new two-year, $62 billion state budget. The budget takes effect today, the first day of the new fiscal year (Siegel, 7/1).

The Associated Press: Pa. Hospitals Press Lawmakers For Medicaid Bill
Pennsylvania's top hospital lobbyists were in the state Capitol on Saturday pressing lawmakers to pass legislation to potentially expand Medicaid eligibility to hundreds of thousands of adult Pennsylvanians under the 2010 federal health care law — and shore up the bottom lines of hospitals around the state. The hospital lobbyists were among a crowd of advocates on subjects from liquor to gas drilling plying the hallways of the Capitol during an unusual weekend voting session as lawmakers scramble to pass an on-time budget and other high-priority legislation before they depart Harrisburg until fall (Levy, 6/30).

Patriot News: Pa. Senate Approves Medicaid Expansion, But It Still Faces A Battle In The House
The state Senate Sunday night approved a bill to potentially expand Medicaid eligibility to hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians. The bill cleared the Senate by a 40-10 vote, indicating strong bipartisan support. The language, embedded in a yearly bill filled with updates to the state's Welfare Code, now moves to the state House of Representatives, where its fate was unclear (Thompson, 6/30).

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Corbett Signs Nearly $29 Billion Pa. Budget Before Deadline
One of those bills was approved Sunday by the Senate with a proposal requiring the state to apply for expanded Medicaid eligibility under the federal health care law, so long as certain conditions were met. House Republicans oppose broadening eligibility. Mr. Corbett has said he will not agree to Medicaid expansion unless the federal government allows Pennsylvania to make changes to its program. He was noncommittal Sunday night on the Senate proposal, saying he would not agree to a plan without Medicaid reforms. "I don't have a bill on my desk," Mr. Corbett said (Langley and Giammarise, 7/1).

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