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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

GOP-Led States Threaten To Turn Down Medicaid Expansion

Florida Governor Rick Scott says his state will not take part in the Medicaid expansion program under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. (AP)

Gov. Rick Scott of Florida became the latest Republican governor to say his state will not take part in the Medicaid expansion program under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

The expansion extends coverage to Americans making 133 percent of the federal poverty line – about $13,000 for an individual or $25,000 for a family of three. The expansion was supposed to provide coverage for up to 17 million Americans.

Stuart Altman, professor of health policy at Brandeis University’s Heller School, stopped by our studios (and roof deck) at WBUR in Boston. (Jesse Costa/Here & Now)

In last week’s Supreme Court ruling, the justices said the states could opt out of the expansion without losing other Medicaid funding (which the Obama administration had threatened to withhold from states not taking part in the expansion).

Scott and governors from Wisconsin, Louisiana and South Carolina, also said they have no plans to set up state health insurance exchanges. Those exchanges would allow individuals to purchase health insurance eligible for federal subsidies.

The New York Times reports it now appears the federal government will have to run the exchanges in one-third to half of all states in 2014.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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