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University of Wisconsin–Madison
Poverty-related issues in the news, from the Institute for Research on Poverty

States and Medicaid Expansion

  • Montana could add 50K to Medicaid if program is expanded, By Mike Dennison, August 21, 2012, The Missoulian: “If Montana expands Medicaid as allowed under federal health care reform, about 50,000 low-income Montanans will be added to the program starting in 2014 – and the cost and benefits are difficult to predict, experts told a legislative panel Monday. The cost to the state could range anywhere from $30 million to $118 million a year by 2020, the experts said. But they also said covering 50,000 people who currently don’t have health insurance will have positive impacts for the state, such as reducing the amount of ‘uncompensated care’ now paid for by hospitals, and bringing hundreds of millions of federal dollars into the state…”
  • State officials seek to greatly expand Medicaid, By Marissa Harshman, August 19, 2012, The Columbian: “The outlook for Washington’s medically uninsured population may be a bit rosier by 2014, particularly for the more than 300,000 low-income people who may find themselves eligible for the state’s Medicaid rolls. But the desired expansion comes with a hefty price tag for the federal government, potential risk for the state and new concern for health care providers already stretched to care for current Medicaid patients. The Medicaid program currently serves about 1.2 million people in Washington. In the last several years, as the state’s purse strings tightened, the medical program for low-income residents has faced cuts to provider reimbursement rates and services. Still, the state is moving forward with its implementation of federal health care reform and expansion of Medicaid enrollment, adding about 330,000 more Washingtonians to the program, with the expectation that the federal government will pay the lion’s share of the cost to cover new enrollees…”
  • GOP govs: Not enough Medicaid ‘flexibility’, By J.K. Wall, August 20, 2012, Indianapolis Business Journal: “The Obama administration is giving states like Indiana a little flexibility in how to expand their Medicaid programs-but nothing like what state officials hoped for after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the health reform law in late June. The law calls for all states to expand eligibility for their Medicaid programs to include adults earnings as much as 138 percent of the federal poverty limit. Indiana’s current limit for adults is just 24 percent of the federal poverty limit. But the Supreme Court, in its June 28 ruling upholding the law, said the states can opt out of the expansion without losing all federal funding for their Medicaid programs…”