How much money Medicaid expansion will save states

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Despite critics of the Medicaid reform ruling, Medicaid expansion will cover 17 million low-income people at only "modest" costs to states, according to the yesterday's report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Regardless of claims that states will eat the costs of expanding Medicaid, the report noted reform actually will reduce state and local government costs for uncompensated care.

"Expanding Medicaid is thus a very favorable financial deal for states," the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said.

States, including Texas, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisiana and Wisconsin, have said they are considering opting out of Medicaid expansion because it will cause undue financial burden, according to the governors.

If a state declines the expansion, only about one-fifth of the people who would have qualified for Medicaid will be eligible instead for federal premium and cost-sharing subsidies, according to Kaiser Health News and Politico Pro.

In 2016, the per-person cost of providing Medicaid will amount to about $5,400, the article noted. The average cost of providing subsidies instead would be more. It's about $5,210 for an average adult, while low-income residents will get more from subsidies.

Costs and savings will vary by state, depending on the Medicaid expansion.

Just as with the Medicaid program itself enacted in 1965, which took until 1982 for all states to participate, all states might eventually participate in Medicaid expansion, according to Think Progress, a blog from the nonpartisan think tank The Center for American Progress Action Fund.

For more information:
- check out the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report
- read the Kaiser Health News/Politico Pro article
- see the Think Progress blog post

Related Articles:
Governors grapple with Medicaid uncertainty
Medicaid reform costs worry hospitals
Hospital bills could go unpaid if states opt out of Medicaid
Medicaid provision leaves doc questions unanswered

Editor's note: This article has been updated for clarity regarding the average costs per adult.

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