To date, 26 states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid to individuals whose incomes are up to 138% of the federal poverty level, while 24 states have yet to do so. Indiana and Pennsylvania have submitted waivers to the CMS that would allow them to expand the program in alternative ways.
The federal government is paying 100% of the cost of individual state expansion through 2016 and 90% thereafter.
Holdout state leaders have attributed their reluctance to expand to a fear that the federal government eventually would make them totally responsible for paying for the new population, or to the belief that Medicaid is in desperate need of reform before it’s expanded.
“We’re not going to deny funding for poor people at the federal level,” Butterfield said in response to the possibility of the federal government pulling its financial support for the expansion population. Medicaid is working fine as it is and so doesn’t need reform before expanding, he said.
“We know why governors are choosing to deny access,” Johnson said. “It’s politics, pure and simple.”
Follow Virgil Dickson on Twitter: @MHVDickson