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J Health Polit Policy Law. 2013 Feb;38(1):165-78. doi: 10.1215/03616878-1898839. Epub 2012 Oct 10.

Sound policy trumps politics: states should expand Medicaid.

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  • 1VA Boston Healthcare System, USA.


By virtue of the Supreme Court's decision on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, states may reject the law's expansion of Medicaid without losing all Medicaid funding from the federal government. The Court's ruling potentially permits a range of Medicaid options for states, including some that may be very attractive from state officials' political perspectives. In the context of the presidential campaign, the uncompensated care problem, and their concerns about costs of expansion, state officials are weighing their options, and some have already pledged to opt out of expansion. We argue that despite the politics, expansion is in fact good for patients, providers, and taxpayers, and states should therefore comply.

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