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Tue Dec 11, 2012, 08:04 AM

Partial Medicaid expansions won’t get full federal funding, administration tells states

By N.C. Aizenman, Published: December 10

The Obama administration told states Monday that they couldn’t do a partial expansion of Medicaid under the health-care law and still receive full federal funding, disappointing many Republican governors on one of the most important questions surrounding the health-care law.

In recent weeks, these governors, along with other state officials, had shown increasing interest in the idea of a partial expansion of the state-federal program for the poor and disabled. In ruling that option out, the administration has raised the stakes for states debating whether to participate in a part of the law that is crucial to its success.

The 2010 law called for states, starting in 2014, to open their Medicaid programs to people with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Under the law, the federal government will pay the entire cost of covering newly eligible individuals for the first three years. After that, the federal government’s share declines, reaching 90 percent by 2020. If all states were to take part in the full expansion, an additional 18 million Americans would be covered by Medicaid.

But many state leaders, especially Republicans, have been leery of sharply expanding their Medicaid programs; many worry that the federal government might reduce funding. As an alternative, they have floated the idea of partial expansions — extending coverage, for instance, to all adults with incomes up to 100 percent of the poverty level — while still having the federal government foot the entire bill.

On Monday, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said no. In a memo to all 50 governors, she said that “the law does not provide for a phased-in or partial expansion.”


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Reply Partial Medicaid expansions won’t get full federal funding, administration tells states (Original post)
DonViejo Dec 2012 OP
David__77 Dec 2012 #1

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:17 PM

1. Excellent news!

The Republican governors will set themselves up for defeat if they opt not to expand the program. Most will end up doing so, creating political cleavage in their ranks.

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