Newswise — Over the next few years, most of the 25 states that currently are choosing not to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act will reverse course and will decide to expand coverage, according to Sean Nicholson, professor of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University. Nicholson predicts that this 25-state reverse will occur as political pressure builds to expand Medicaid.
“People in states not expanding Medicaid coverage will realize that they are actually paying taxes to fund the expansion in the other 25 states and Washington, D.C.
“Hospitals, physicians, pharmacies, nursing homes, home care agencies and other health care providers in states that are not expanding will work with their respective Medicaid programs to find a way to expand Medicaid without requiring an additional burden on state taxpayers. Health care providers have strong incentives to develop creative solutions. Florida, for example, is giving up an estimated $51 billion in federal funds over the next 10 years by not expanding Medicaid, and these funds would ultimately go to Florida health care providers.
“Conservative politicians who oppose Medicaid expansion can learn from other states that have crafted solutions that adhere to conservative principles. Consider Michigan, which is expanding Medicaid: Michigan is actively searching for savings that will pay the state’s part of the expansion costs after 2016. It will terminate the expansion if the state cannot find ways to pay for that expansion in the long run, it is providing incentives for Medicaid beneficiaries to adopt healthy behaviors, and it is asking private health plans to manage the new Medicaid beneficiaries.
“It’s useful to remember that when the Medicaid program launched in 1966, half of the states participated in the first year. Four years later, almost all states were participating even though they had to pay 25 percent to 50 percent of the program costs.”