Medicaid Expansion & The Supreme Court
On June 29, 2012 the courts threw an unforeseen curve in the Affordable Care acts, Medicaid Expansion plans. While each state had to abide by the individual mandate rule, or face a Health Insurance Tax, they still get to decide how the would participate regarding Medicaid Expansion. Medicaid is regulated on state by state level, and as such does not have to abide by Federal regulations.
Medicaid participation has solely been at the choice of the states. In the Supreme Court ruling, a 5 to 4 majority of justices ruled that the federal government couldn’t require states to accept the law’s Medicaid Expansion program, stating the threat that states refusing to take part in the programs expansion would lose all federal Medicaid funding was unconstitutional.
The result of the ruling could undermine Barack Obama’s goal of expanding health insurance to more Americans within the United States, through Medicaid Expansion. It was estimated that many of the individuals that are expected to gain coverage were expected to do so within the expansion of the States Medicaid programs.
The Affordable Care Act still looks at increasing federal spending on Medicaid. It is estimated, as much as $930 billion will be spent on Medicaid expansion within the next decade to insure American citizen whose income is 133% of the poverty level or lower. It is unknown how many new individuals whose healthcare coverage depend on what states opt to expand Medicaid.
“We are concerned many states will choose not to expand coverage,” Bruce Siegel, president of the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, said in a statement released following the court’s decision. “In the 26 states that participated in the federal lawsuit, more than 27 million people have no insurance,” he added, and many of those who would have been eligible for Medicaid in 2014 “might no longer have that option.”